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Highlands & Islands

The Scottish Highlands & Islands are recognised worldwide for their outstanding natural beauty and ancient history.

Whilst the modern Highland economy still retains many of the traditional textile manufacturing, agricultural and tourism industries that the area is famous for, there is a varied and vibrant economy with over 22000 businesses across a wide range of sectors choosing to locate here.

Inverness is our only City and over 62% of the population live in rural areas within a region covering more than half of Scotland’s land mass.

The Highlands & Islands is dominated by micro businesses and SME’s covering a wide range of industries. Within these, health is the most dominant employer in the region and this is followed by accommodation and food services with the public sector also a key employer.

We have a number of growth sectors across our regional economy which is driving innovation and excellence for a new generation of talent in the area. Life sciences, Space, Green Energy, Creative Industries, Technology and advanced Engineering are all at the forefront of growth for businesses and organisations across the region.

Our Food and Drink industry is experiencing continual growth and investment and the world class products from our producers are in demand around the globe.

The outstanding natural environment and historical attractions bring tourists from all over the world to the region where the pre covid economy benefits from £1.5bn of visitor spend.

With the global pandemic re shaping the ways in which businesses and people operate, the Highlands and Islands offers new opportunities for people and businesses to grow and a great place to live and work.

Productivity Club was launched in the Highlands & Islands in 2020. We currently host monthly online events as the Highlands and Islands Club Talk.

If you are an SME in the area and you have a story to tell on how you improved your productivity/efficiency/competitiveness within your organisation and want to share your case study with other like-minded leaders email Grant Campbell at grant.campbell@scdi.org.uk or Eleonora Vanello at eleonora.vanello@scdi.org.uk




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