Ambitious plans to develop a multi-million pound education and business park in Inverness have taken a step forward with the appointment of a full-time director to lead the project.
Ruaraidh MacNeil has been appointed Inverness Campus Project Director by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Mr MacNeil is currently Head of Operations for HIE's Inner Moray Firth Team and takes up his new role immediately.
Reporting to HIE's Regional Director for Highland, Charlotte Wright, he will work with stakeholders such as UHI Millennium Institute and the Centre for Health Science, as well as consulting with local community groups and partners.
Mr MacNeil was born and raised in Glasgow of Barra parents and has lived in Inverness for over 20 years. His previous experience includes the development of the £23m Centre for Health Science in Inverness and Inverness Airport Business Park.
Sandy Brady, Acting Chief Executive of HIE, said: “It is excellent news that Ruaraidh has been appointed Director of the Inverness Campus project. He has a very strong track record in managing complex transformational projects such as this and his enthusiasm for the area is well known. He is a very capable and innovative individual and I have no doubt that Ruaraidh will be excellent in his new role.”
Ruaraidh MacNeil, said: “I am delighted to be offered this exciting opportunity to deliver such an ambitious project for the Highlands and Islands. I have already been involved in developing the Inverness Campus Project from its initial concept stage and look forward to leading the team which will make it a reality. The Inverness Campus project is the biggest single investment ever undertaken by HIE and I will be working hard to ensure its impact is as far-reaching as possible.”
The vision for the Campus is to create a state-of-the-art development that will encourage businesses and education and research organisations to create a collaborative learning and enterprise environment. HIE has taken a leading role in the project, bringing together partners to develop the site as an academic and economic stimulus for the region. In September 2009 the Board of HIE agreed to invest up to £25 million to start Phase 1 at the 215-acre Beechwood Farm site off the A9 just over a mile and a half east of Inverness city centre.
[A photograph of Ruaraidh MacNeil is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or 01463 244238]
HIE's role is to develop sustainable economic growth across the region. To achieve this it creates infrastructure for future investment, assists large and small businesses with growth aspirations and has a unique role strengthening communities, particularly in fragile areas.
HIE supports the growth ambitions of business and social enterprise clients by creating close working relationships in order to accelerate growth in turnover, profitability, wage levels, exports and therefore Gross Value Added (GVA) in the HIE area.
HIE also invests in transformational projects across the region to make the Highlands and Islands a more competitive and attractive place to live, work, study and grow.
The region covered by HIE takes in more than half of Scotland, and is home to around 440,000 people. See www.hie.co.uk for more information.