This week sees the launch of a series of audio interviews gathered in communities across the Highlands and Islands by Smartify in 2022, the audio-visual content partner for the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project.
The Valentine’s Day release highlights ‘a different kind of love’ giving snapshots into peoples’ favourite places, memories and what they believe to be the ‘spirit’ of the Highlands and Islands. Smartify have additionally created a series of focused discussions on topics of significance to the natural and cultural heritage of the region which showcase a community love for storytelling.
Cllr Ian Brown, Leader of Inverness city and area and co-chair of the Inverness Castle Project Delivery Group, said:
“Smartify have delivered first class, engaging audio content for the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project which will encourage visitors to plan and seek out those story locations.
I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to the interviews which have been brought to life by the magic of audio. They give a great snapshot into contemporary, cultural and historical life in the Highlands and Islands. I can’t wait for the podcasts which will be released at a later date.”
Smartify has worked with many organisations including the National Galleries of Scotland, the Wallace Collection, the National Gallery in London, and the DC History Centre in Washington.
Peter Knowles, Content and Partnerships Manager, Smartify, said:
“I’m thrilled that our recordings are being released into the world! Travelling around the Highlands and Islands to speak with people from all walks of life and hear their stories has been an utter joy and a genuine privilege.
I can’t thank those who spent time with us enough for being so warm, welcoming, and generous with their time. I hope that listening to their tales helps people fall in love with the region as much as collecting them did for me.”
Itineraries, to encourage visitors to explore the Highlands and Islands in a new way, have also been formed around the audio bites and all the interviews are available to listen to on Spirit: Stories.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is a partnership project between The Highland Council and High Life Highland, which is delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project will encourage visitors to explore and experience all parts of the Highlands and Islands, as well as inspiring them to attend and support festivals and events, visitor attractions and outdoor locations across the area.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), led by NatureScot and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is part of the Inverness Castle project. The Castle, opening in 2025, will benefit from £30m investment to support its redevelopment from the Scottish and UK Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a range of other partners.
The Inverness Castle project is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, which 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.