Details of Useful sources of support for your community project - this page is gradually being developed - your ideas or experience will be invaluable here! Where should communities go to in order to tap in to really useful and practical support! Tell us on NHI@burach.org.uk
Highlands and Islands Enterprise, for information on funding, grants, business & project development - Based in Inverness but with offices in Wick, Portree. The Head office is in Inverness, at An Lochran Campus. HIE have Community Support Services and Business Development Services. Tel: 01463 245 245
University of the Highlands and Islands - Also based at An Lochran, UHI can offer a variety of training and learning courses, offer work placement students suitable for a range of business and community enterprise. They have a wide range of facilities on offer across the Highlands via 13 colleges and research centres, and over 70 local learning centres - many on, or adjacent to, the NC 500 route. At each of these sites are students and staff who are eager to interact with local businesses of all shapes and sizes in order to widen student access to working and learning opportunities, whilst supporting the development of local businesses and communities. There are many ways in which businesses can get involved, and the university are happy to discuss any new ideas you might have. They have a general contact form or call the executive office on 01463 279000 .
Business Gateway are a Scottish Government resource, and as well as 1:1 local advice, have an advanced business development programme as well as half day workshops. You can tap into their online resources, which include free market research and market reports. And if they don’t have the answer to a specific question, they can connect you with someone that will. They offer online services and information on business start-up or running a business. They have 12 offices in the Highlands and Islands area, and can be contacted by calling 0300 013 4753, or online.
Visit Scotland are NOT only there for visitors - they have an incredibly useful site for the Industry to use - this can access a wide range of data on visitors numbers, statistics, marketing tools, research information, and a whole range of other items. If you are planning an expansion to an existing business or a totally new development, look at this first of all to give you the necessary background you need for any application or planning.
The Federation of Small Businesses have the aim of helping smaller businesses achieve their ambitions. As experts in business, they offer members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in government. Established over 40 years ago to help their members succeed in business, they are a non-profit making and non-party political organisation that’s led by the members, for the members. Members get an exclusive package of great value business services including advice, financial products and support. These cover a wide range of benefits such as tax, legal and HR, local network groups and business banking.
They don’t only provide fantastic membership benefits - FSB is also the UK’s leading business campaigner, focused on delivering change which supports smaller businesses to grow and succeed. Their lobbying arm starts with the work of a team in Westminster which focuses on UK and English policy issues. Further to this, expert teams in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast work with governments, elected members and decision-makers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Highland Council’s website can be found here. The site carries an absolute storehouse of information connected with the area, from contact details of the representative councillors throughout the region, to minutes of meetings, planning, job vacancies, details of services such as recycling and social care, and (importantly) for research or business development - statistics from local wards and census returns on population demographics and employment. General enquiries, comments, compliments or report a complaint 01349 886606. Finally, there’s an A - Z service finder!