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High Life Highland's pledge to revitalise events programme in Inverness

By Scott Maclennan

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Ian Ross.
Ian Ross.

High Life Highland (HLH) has been tasked with delivering a revitalised and refreshed events programme across the city following a vote at Inverness area committee.

Following a detailed review by the council, it was agreed that the arm’s length charity is best placed to manage the city’s events and festivals programme.

That means HLH will have responsibility for staging some of the biggest showpieces in the Highland calendar that includes Hogmanay’s Red Hot Highland Fling.

The hope is that by transferring the duties to the charity it will be able to revitalise and improve how the city stages events.

To do that they will have to maintain existing positive relationships between High Life Highland and the wider events sector through a new City Area Events Creative Forum.

The provost and leader of Inverness and Area, Cllr Helen Carmichael, welcomed the news following “a great deal of work and consultation.

Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael.
Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael.

“It is clear and sensible that a new model for the delivery of events will dovetail with other city projects where High Life Highland is currently involved.

“I recognise that we are emerging from a period that has probably been the most challenging and testing for the events sector.

“The new City Area Events Creative Forum will be coordinated by HLH and will consist of event promoters, providers, content creators and others involved in events and festivals.

“The forum will facilitate consultation and discussions regarding the ongoing development of the city-wide public programme will take place as well as ensuring that other events already taking place in the city are complimented.

“Ultimately, the decision taken today will enable the events programme to be reviewed and delivered using a new model of expertise, consultation and collaboration.

“I am confident that as we move through and out of the challenges presented by the pandemic, the residents and visitors to the city of Inverness will welcome a new, fresh and revitalised events programme, that will appeal to many.”

Chairman of High Life Highland, Ian Ross, said: “The events and festivals have both prominence and importance to the residents and visitors to the city as well as to the wider Highlands, and I am delighted that HLH has now been invited to take a lead role in the programme delivery.

“HLH’s involvement is very much in line with our charitable objectives. We are committed to the promotion of greater social inclusion and improved accessibility in all the services we deliver on behalf of the Highland Council and this will now include events and festivals, funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund.

“I am confident that HLH's expertise and knowledge of the events, festivals and cultural sectors will allow for existing, as well as new partnerships to grow and develop as the charity moves into the exciting phases of working to revitalise and reinvigorate the programme over the coming months and years.”

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