Green Freeport looks to local expertise as it appoints trio of service suppliers

Human resources consultancy The HR Department Highlands is among the first three firms appointed to supply services for the new Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport (ICFGF).

ICFGF also today announced the appointment of leading Scottish accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael, as well as public relations and communications agency Morrison Media, both of which have offices in the Highlands.

The appointments were welcomed by ICFGF Chief Executive Calum MacPherson, who formally took up his role with the organisation this month.

Based in Inverness, The HR Dept Highlands was launched in 2021 by Kim Hunter and provides outsourced employment law and human resources support to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the north of Scotland.

Ms Hunter said: “The award of Green Freeport status for Inverness and the Cromarty Firth has meant the spotlight is firmly on the area and all the communities and businesses within it.

“The excitement for us, as a people-focussed business, is the investment and job creation it can bring. That is so important to this area.

“We are very proud to have been awarded supplier status by ICFGF and are looking forward to working with them to deliver their people strategy.”

Established in Moray over 85 years ago and with a network of offices in 14 locations, including Cradlehall Business Park, Inverness, Johnston Carmichael is Scotland’s largest independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers.

The firm has been engaged to provide outsourced finance services to ICFGF, supporting the organisation with recurring monthly services including payroll and management accounts, as well as annual statutory accounts and compliance.

Kirsty Reynolds, Director and Head of Outsourced Finance Services at Johnston Carmichael, said: “We are pleased to have been selected to deliver this contract and we firmly believe that the area is in a unique position to support and enable job creation and economic growth which could bring transformative change across the Highlands and Scotland as a whole.

“As members of the Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF) consortium since 2021, we were happy to see its bid succeed earlier this year. We’re now looking forward to working with the Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport team to help capitalise on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Morrison Media, which opened an office in the Highlands in 2021, provided communications and public affairs support to the OCF consortium from its launch and throughout the successful campaign to win Green Freeport status for Inverness and the Cromarty Firth.

Managing Director, John Morrison, who founded the company in 2012, said: “It was tremendous to be part of a winning team that brought together businesses, the public sector and academia in a way that had never been done before in the Highlands to create this fantastic opportunity for the area.

“It was a campaign that really focussed the attention of decision-makers on the attributes, capabilities and massive potential of the region.

“We are absolutely delighted that, with the award of this contract, we will be continuing on this exciting and vital journey as the Green Freeport is established and developed.”

The three companies were appointed following competitive tendering processes.

Mr MacPherson, said: “As we continue the process of setting up the Green Freeport, we are very pleased to be able to announce the appointments of these three companies, all of which have an established presence in the Highlands.

“Each has well proven and highly regarded expertise in their own fields, as well as in-depth knowledge of working in this unique region of the UK and we look forward to working with them.

“Since January’s announcement that Inverness and the Cromarty Firth had succeeded in its bid for Green Freeport status, a huge amount of work has been going on behind the scenes and a great deal of progress has been made. We look forward to making further announcements over the coming weeks.”

Inverness-born Mr MacPherson, who previously held a number of senior roles with Robertson Group, took up the post of ICFGF Chief Executive on Monday.

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