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Development Department

Economic Development and Business Support

Planning and Innovation

The economic development service is involved in a range of projects with an emphasis on encouraging economic impact within the knowledge economy and other high growth sectors.  This includes building on our strengths by supporting innovative projects within traditional sectors such as tourism and culture.

Key areas of activity include:

Tourism Innovation: supporting the Area Tourism Partnership, Visit Hebrides and Cearcaill na Gaidhlig

Creative Industries: Outer Hebrides Creative Industries Strategy, which includes Comhairle led initiatives such as Hebrides.TV and Film Hebrides;  support to partner projects such as Hebridean Connections and Locational Storytelling , and sectoral support to the media and Harris Tweed sectors.

Inward Investment: In conjunction with HIE, promoting the Hebrides as a cost effective location for contact centres, job dispersal and e-working (  This is evidenced by the success of the Government funded Consumer Direct Scotland contact centre, operated by the Comhairle

Broadband, ICT and New Media: Our aim is to develop the concept of a Connected Hebrides, a place which combines quality of life offered by rural living with global connectivity, opportunities for employment and inward investment, business creation, skills and learning  The Connected Communities Broadband network is addressing gaps in infrastructure provision, with broadband uptake now being targeted through the new ERDF funded Connected Hebrides project.