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Highland business community gathers for flagship event

Broadcaster Jim Naughtie was the guest speaker at Inverness Chamber of Commerce's annual Highland Business Dinner.
Broadcaster Jim Naughtie was the guest speaker at Inverness Chamber of Commerce's annual Highland Business Dinner.

The Highlands’ “thriving” business community was celebrated at a sell-out black tie event in Inverness last night.

More than 350 people converged on the Drumossie Hotel for Inverness Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) flagship annual event, the Highland Business Dinner.

The special guest speaker for the evening was broadcaster Jim Naughtie.  Jim, who started his career at the Press & Journal, retired as presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme in 2015, but remains a regular contributor, reporting on elections and other events from around the world.

Addressing the gathering, ICC’s recently appointed president Liam Christie looked back at key developments in the Highland business world over the past 12 months.

Among them, he singled out the announcement of the Highland capital’s “long awaited” City Region Deal, which was officially launched in March.

Mr Christie said:  “This momentous £315million deal btween Westminster, Holyrood and the Highland Council has the potential to transform our region.

“It is a once in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring about lasting change that will make the Highlands more competitive, more desirable as a place to do business and better equipped for future opportunities.”

The ICC president said victory in a campaign to secure daily daily flights between Inverness to Heathrow, which have now been operating for a year, showed how progress could be achieved by the business community uniting to present a strong case.

He hailed the success of the North Coast 500 tourist route initiative, describing it as a “sterling example of what can be achieved when you bring together a good idea, a strong product and a little marketing and PR know-how.”

Mr Christie, who recently launched a new company, North Highland Events and Promotions, said he was “very privileged” to have become ICC president last month.

ICC chief executive Stewart Nicol said: “Our Highland Business Dinner is rightly recognised at the Highland’s premiere business event of the year. This year’s event has absolutely maintained our high standards.

“In addition to providing an exceptional opportunity for corporate hospitality and networking, our guests were both challenged and entertained by Jim Naughtie’s insight on world affairs in general and the USA in particular. His  sharp, dry wit was well received by our capacity audience.”

 

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