Our chief executive Stewart Nicol has welcomed the recent announcement from the UK and Scottish governments on the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport status:
“It is an amazing result for our city & region, our economy and all of our businesses. It is absolutely the correct decision, is thoroughly well-deserved and has been achieved by a remarkable amount of hard work and collaboration across many private and public sector organisations.
Throughout, I have been struck by our determination and appetite to achieve this incredible result as we constructed our compelling case. I’m delighted that Inverness Chamber of Commerce as members of the OCF Consortium has played a small, though significant, role in achieving this success.
I believe this decision will help transform our economy. It will give us as a Chamber of Commerce the opportunity to engage with a growing number of important businesses as we continue our work to ensure strong supply chain benefits for the region’s businesses.
We were delighted to work alongside Joanne Allday who has led the OCF bid. Joanne is one of the team at our long-standing Executive Partners, Port of Cromarty Firth.”
Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) is delighted to have been awarded Green Freeport status in a highly competitive bidding process involving five areas of Scotland. It will bring jobs and business opportunities to the Highlands on a scale not seen since the arrival of North Sea oil and gas in the 1970s.
Green Freeport status presents the opportunity to turn Inverness and the Cromarty Firth into a focal point for a thriving, sustainable, homegrown renewables industry able to transform the nation into a net zero economy, become a global exporter of clean energy, technology and expertise, and make a significant contribution to UK energy security.
It will allow us to harness our resources to compete on a level playing field with other parts of the UK, ensure the establishment of new manufacturing facilities, and attract fresh, sizeable investment to the Highlands.
The benefits of a Green Freeport centred on Inverness and the Cromarty Firth will be shared across Scotland and the UK, creating an estimated 25,000 jobs.
We are delighted that the Scottish and UK governments have listened to industry, which has strongly supported the OCF bid.
The successful bid is the culmination of two years hard work and dedication from everyone at OCF who uniquely brought 30 regional businesses – including Port of Cromarty Firth, Global Energy Group, Port of Inverness, Highlands and Islands Airports, renewable energy giants and developers, public sector organisations, and academic bodies, The Highland Council and University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) – to work together for the first time.
OCF would like to thank the MPs, MSPs, Highland councillors, leading industry bodies and offshore wind and hydrogen developers who threw their support behind our bid. The Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport is very much looking forward to working with our partners including the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure we realise the full benefits of this clean energy revolution, which is expected to create a 50-year pipeline of work and high-quality jobs. Today marks the beginning of a whole new chapter for clean energy, for net zero, for jobs, for our economy, for the Highlands and for Scotland.