Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)
Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s purpose is to generate sustainable economic growth in the Highlands and Islands. It understands that there is a huge number of talented individuals and businesses based all over their patch, many of which are micro businesses, self employed or voluntary workers passionate about their craft, creativity and where they live. HIE recognises the important contribution that this industry brings to the economy and cultural life of the community here and they are keen to support the Creative Industries in this fast-growing and diverse sector.
They have supported ScreenHI via the umbrella company Creative Highland for the last two years (2010-2012) and have committed to a further year. This is fantastic opportunity for us to get our teeth stuck into long-term projects, develop skills through mentoring and grow our nationally recognised annual creative industries festival goNorth.
Iain Hamilton heads up the Creative Industries department. Their backing through information sharing, guidance on government policy and strategy is invaluable so that we deliver the best and most effective service we can.
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
As part of the Regional Policy within the European Commission, the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) aims to strengthen the connections between its regions through a number of methods. Areas of investment cover; SME’s (small and medium enterprises) to create sustainable jobs; infrastructures that are clearly linked to telecommunications, transport, research and innovation; financing development funds to foster cooperation between towns and regions and finally aid is given to technical assistance measures. Ultimately they want to reduce economic, environmental and social problems in towns.
The ERDF can also get involved in the three objectives of regional policy, which are; Convergence (modernising and diversifying economic structures); Regional Competitiveness and Employment (innovation and knowledge-based economies, environment and risk prevention ideals and access to transport and telecommunications services) and European Territorial Cooperation (transnational cooperation, development of economic and social cross-border activities and increasing the efficiency of regional policy through networking).
ERDF policy gives particular attention to specific territorial characteristics. Naturally disadvantaged areas geographically speaking (remote, mountainous or sparsely populated areas) benefit from individual attention. This also covers recognition that support from ERDF to address possible disadvantages due to their remoteness is necessary.