Highlands in bid to attract visitors

The Scottish Highlands are to be the subject of a major charm offensive to raise their cultural profile and lure more tourists.

Highland 2007, the body set up to manage the campaign and whose director is Fiona Hampton, is seeking a PR agency to devise a year-long programme of events to help boost the region’s economy.

Created by the Scottish Executive, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Highland Council, Highland 2007 aims to capitalise on the ideas put forward by Inverness’s unsuccessful bid to become European Capital of Culture 2008.

Highland 2007 also hopes to encourage people with family roots in the area or an interest in Highland culture to visit during the year, as well as increase existing residents’ knowledge of their culture.

Events will cover arts, sport, heritage, science and the environment. It will also promote the use of Gaelic to try and bolster numbers of Gaelic speakers, and feature the reopening of Inverness’ Eden Court Theatre, which is staging a musical based on the Highlands, produced by Sir Cameron MacKintosh.

The project will cost between £9m and £12m.

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