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Dornoch businesswoman with global experience to head up NC500 charity

Genevieve Duhigg has been announced as the new leader of North Highland Initiative
Genevieve Duhigg has been announced as the new leader of North Highland Initiative

Meet the Dornoch businesswoman tasked with helping North Highland Initiative (NHI) create a regional identity to help rural communities in north Highland.

The charity behind the creation of the North Coast 500 (NC500) has announced the appointment of Genevieve Duhigg, its first female non-executive chairwoman.

Mrs Duhigg will lead the charity over the next three years and brings 30-years of commercial leadership experience to the role.

NHI was created in 2005 as a direct result of His Royal Highness Prince Charles’s involvement in bringing together the farming community, local businesses and the tourism industry.

The charity serves to address challenges faced in rural communities in the far north by creating a regional identity.

30 years of leadership

Mrs Duhigg 30 years of commercial leadership experience comes mainly in publishing.

Since 2014, the new NHI boss has been the director of a property and retail business in Dornoch. She has run the business alongside her husband, John.

Genevieve Duhigg is the new chair of North Highland Initiative

During her career, Mrs Duhigg has held many top roles including global digital director of the Penguin Group. She also held the role of chief digital officer and chief information officer for Pearson PLC.

The new NHI leader has also held a varied portfolio of non-executive director positions. These span across media, education, sport and financial services, including Santander UK; Moneysupermarket; the Rugby Football Union and STV.

Hopes to develop future prosperity of the north Highlands

Speaking of her appointment, Mrs Duhigg said: “I’m incredibly proud to be taking on this leading role for NHI, building on its many successes and helping to develop the future prosperity of the north Highlands.

“As chair of NHI, my focus will be on helping to strengthen communities in the north Highlands.

“I’m passionate about the region’s continued success and I look forward to working closely with our partners across the north Highlands in the years ahead.”

Community support programme to continue in 2022

Mrs Duhigg takes over from David Whiteford OBE, who held the role for 12 years from 2009 to 2021.

Lord MacLennan served as the charity’s chairman until 2009.

David Whiteford held the role as chairman of NHI for 12 years from 2009

In addition to Mrs Duhigg as non-executive chairwoman , NHI’s board directors now include Toby Anstruther, Sue Bruce, and David Hughes.

NHI say their vision is to aid businesses and communities in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and Cromarty to become sustainable.

The charity will again deliver its community infrastructure support programme in 2022.

So far it has awarded £98,000 to 107 projects across the region over the past two years.

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