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Audio visual content partner announced for Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project

On behalf of The Highland Council, High Life Highland this week announced Smartify as the successful partner for the audio and visual input to Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project.

Director of the Inverness Castle Project, Fiona Hampton, said: “The audio and visual content will see the creation of an interactive story map to encourage our visitors to explore all areas of the Highlands and Islands.

“We’ll be working with Smartify to create bespoke routes and trails using audio and visual content to guide visitors through the region.”

The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project will be delivered in partnership with VisitScotland and aims to deliver benefits for local communities, helping to unlock economic potential and improve visitor experiences across the region by engaging people with our rich natural and cultural heritage.

It is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF) led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Reflecting the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands theme, it will encourage people to visit all parts of the Highlands and Islands in a sustainable way.

Smartify has worked with many big organisations including the National Galleries of Scotland, the Wallace Collection and the National Gallery in London and the DC History Centre in Washington.

Director of Smartify Thanos Kokkiniotis said: “We are honoured to have been chosen to work with the communities and individuals from across the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, to tell their stories in ways that encourage sustainable tourism.

“It’s an amazing statement of confidence in Smartify’s exciting and innovative digital content creation ability.

“Using innovative technology and engaging storytelling we make cultural heritage accessible for a global audience. Our expert creative team delivers the best mobile experiences with highly engaging stories through audio, video and podcasts. Smartify productions are contemporary, thoughtful and entertaining.”

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, said: “Helping visitors engage with our rich natural and cultural beauty in a sustainable way is the key aim of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands campaign.

“The audio-visual experience has an important role to play in bringing that to life for our visitors, which Smartify will be able to deliver as part of this campaign.

“This fantastic project will help encourage visitors to stay longer, visit all year round and explore more widely.

“Tourism is a force for good; creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing wellbeing.”

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.

It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Inverness and Highland City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.