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BUSINESS INSIGHT: Golf drives regional prosperity for Highlands

By Grant Campbell

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Region's golf is up there with the best in the world, says our columnist.
Region's golf is up there with the best in the world, says our columnist.

Spring in the Highlands is always a good time to dust of the golf clubs and prepare for the season ahead, but this year the season started with a bang for our members operating in the golf tourism sector.

Over 200 businesses and operators participating in Scottish Golf Tourism Week, the lens of the industry has been focused firmly on what our region has to offer which in my view, is right up there with the best in the world.

With the University of the Highlands and Islands training the golf experts of the future, world-class courses, unrivalled hospitality and training deriving from significant hotel investments, and all delivered in harmony with our ever-changing natural landscapes, golf has to be recognised as a growing driver of regional prosperity.

An evolving cluster of excellence which can be added to with a positive outcome from Scottish Government on the planning application for Coul Links Golf Course, could see further investment into the regeneration and repopulation of rural Sutherland communities through the creation of jobs, housing, entrepreneurship, innovation and land management that delivers positive net gains to sensitive coastline.

Just across the Easter Ross peninsula, the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport continues to see significant investment commitments and we welcome the news that Port of Nigg and Port of Cromarty Firth have progressed to stage two in the strategic investment model process and the latter also being the only port in Scotland to be included in the floating offshore wind manufacturing scheme.

It is important for the region that our businesses and communities make themselves fully informed about what government and private sector investment means, and the economic opportunities that will be unlocked for social good and the regeneration this will drive through housing, jobs, health and social care, public amenities and transport connectivity.

Continuing on transport, we were pleased to see the commitment from the cabinet secretary for transport Fiona Hyslop to improving the A96, including dualling the section between Inverness and Nairn and a Nairn Bypass.

Grant Campbell is Prosper’s regional manager.

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