Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

North Coast 500 doctorate launched which could lead to new digital app

Tom Campbell, managing director of North Coast 500.
Tom Campbell, managing director of North Coast 500.

A postgraduate place has been created by the University of the Highlands and Islands for a “groundbreaking” study into the history of the area along the NC500 which could be used for a digital app.

The PhD student will spend three years speaking to historians, museum curators and community leaders in towns and villages along the scenic route to gather material on heritage sites, objects and landscapes across the north Highlands.

Doctor Iain Robertson, of UHI’s centre for history, said the information could be used by a specialist company to produce the app, which in theory might “ping” with an alert on someone’s phone as they drive along the road and pass a heritage “hot spot.”

The PhD work will be funded by public money from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). ESF is EU money paid in by the public which goes back into projects for community benefit, while the SFC is a non-departmental body of the Scottish Government which invests around £1.8 billion a year into Scotland’s universities and colleges.

One politician suggested last night that those businesses benefiting from the NC 500 should also be contributing to the costs of the work, which UHI was unable to provide yesterday.

NC 500 managing director Tom Campbell said: “I do think this is ground-breaking for tourism and it takes us to another level. It’s much more than just a drive.

“It’s about our communities, culture, heritage, landscapes and seascapes and it’s about the visitors as well. So many of them have said that visiting the North Coast 500 has been life-changing. This studentship will add another layer of depth to the route, to the visitor experience and to our own sense of place.”

The NC 500 research project – due to start in October – is one of four fully funded PhD studentships currently on offer at UHI.

The others include exploring social barriers to the development of aquaculture in Scotland, using DNA technologies for assessing ecological impacts on salmon farming, and building entrepeneurial capacity through community creative and cultural projects.

The studentships are part of Developing Scotland’s Workforce in the Scotland 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Fund Programme.

Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain (Conservative) said: “The NC500 has been a phenomenal success story attracting visitors to the Highlands. I welcome this research but wonder if those businesses that benefit from the opportunities that the NC500 should also be contributing to the costs for this work.”

James Price, campaign manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said it was “baffling” as to why taxpayers’s money was being used on the venture, adding: “Spurious PhD funding has not had the scrutiny it deserves, and this is a textbook example. App creation for tourists should be left to the market, not funded by taxpayers who expect their cash to be better spent.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]