by Stewart Nicol, chief executive, Inverness Chamber of Commerce
On behalf of everyone at Inverness Chamber of Commerce, may I take this opportunity to wish you a happy New Year. For all who have a role in the business community in the city and across the Highlands, I wish you a successful, prosperous and safe 2022.
As we go into a new year, which will clearly have many ongoing and difficult challenges, my team and I remain absolutely committed to actively connecting and representing businesses across the Highlands to support their growth.
It is clear that, on the cusp of another year with all of the opportunities that will unfold, we still have difficult times ahead.
Within this context, I believe all of us in leadership within business do what is required of us, lead our organisations and our teams. More than that though, as a business community, we also need to collaborate and work in partnership as never before. We also need the private and public sector collaborating and delivering for our city and region and we need to see the same from our politicians at a local, national and UK level.
The city of Inverness is without a doubt the commercial heartbeat of our region and the economic powerhouse for the Highlands. Our city is unique in the world being the start and finish of the NC500, having Nessie as our near neighbour and the River Ness running through its centre.
In recent months, we’ve seen two impressive statements of intent published which relate to our remarkable city. I was privileged to be part of the strategy group, set up by Drew Hendry MP, which created the Inverness One City, One Vision document. Our document was followed by Highland Council’s Inverness City Centre Vision, which has the central ambition of having a city centre which continues to be vibrant, healthy and an attractive place to work, live and do business.
But these aspirational ambitions will only become the reality we all seek, if we do manage to collaborate effectively. More than ever before we need to see action, sometimes quite literally at street level, as we transform our city into something we’re all proud to showcase to the world.