At its meeting in May, the City of Inverness Area Committee agreed to invite High Life Highland, as the Council’s arms-length Charity, to assume responsibility for managing the City’s events programme on their behalf.
This week, a newly created forum of events sector representatives met for the first time to look at ways in which they individually and collaboratively can work in partnership with High Life Highland to generate a vibrant City events programme, all year round.
High Life Highland’s Events Development Manager, Amy MacLeod, said, “We really appreciate the representatives from the events sector taking time out to attend, something that will become a regular forum, to help the team at HLH understand what is important in delivering the new events partnership.
“Listening to colleagues from the sector, it is clear they have been hit extremely hard by the impacts of the pandemic. However, what was even more clear was their willingness to work with us to reassure all event attendees, both locals and visitors to the area, that post-COVID safe operation and fun, will be the over-riding priorities in any decisions about events going forward.”
Les Kidger from LCC Live Events said of the meeting, “It was really great to get around a table with similar, like-minded individuals who are keen to work together to make sure that our respective event customers can come along to enjoy themselves, while they feel safe and secure in knowing those involved are looking after them, but not at the expense of their enjoyment.”
Scot Gardiner, CEO with ICTFC added, “The football club has faced a number of challenges over the last number of months in just trying to make sure that we remain COVID-compliant and that our fixtures can go ahead. We have therefore learned a great deal about some of the systems that we may expect the Scottish Government to ask the events sector to put into play as things are relaxed. I am obviously more than happy to share our learning with others on this forum.”
Dougie Brown, one of the team responsible for delivering the Gathering and Belladrum Festival went on, “We are really keen to work with the events team at HLH and hope that along with the other promoters and operators in the sector, we can incorporate our events to make the City Events programme a real partnership opportunity that can only be a benefit to the residents and visitors to Inverness and the wider Highlands, whilst helping to bolster the local economy as the programme is grown and developed.”
High Life Highland is awaiting further updates from the Scottish Government as to what restrictions may be relaxed for larger scale events, and how they can work with others from the sector to enable any measures that may be required to allow post-pandemic events to go ahead.
Concluding, The Provost of Inverness, Highland Councillor Helen Carmichael said, “It is extremely reassuring to hear that through HLH, this new forum is bringing together the key players in the events sector. Partnership working will ensure that when restrictions are lifted, attendees can return to COVID-safe, secure but fun and enjoyable events across the City and the Highlands.”