HIE has a budget of nearly £66 million, including £56 million from the Scottish Government,
to invest in developing businesses, economic sectors and communities across an area
which covers half of Scotland, including all inhabited islands.
On the national stage, HIE also co-manages the Scottish Land Fund with Big Lottery
Scotland, operates Community Broadband Scotland, and supports cutting edge research
and development through a subsidiary company, Wave Energy Scotland.
Recruitment for the chief executive’s post got under way in March this year, and
attracted widespread interest from a large number of well qualified applicants.
Fergus Ewing, Rural Economy Secretary, said he was delighted to confirm Charlotte
“Charlotte has proven herself as an exceptional leader who is absolutely committed
to making a difference in every part of the region, and I am certain she will be
a highly effective and inspiring chief executive for years to come," said Mr Ewing.
“The Scottish Government and HIE work closely together as part of Team Scotland on
economic development and that arrangement works well.”
Ms Wright joined HIE 20 years ago, having previously run her own small business and
worked in the NHS.
She held several positions with HIE in Lochaber, rising to the position of local
enterprise company Chief Executive. She was appointed as the agency’s Regional Director
for Highland in 2008, and as Director of Business and Sector development in 2010.
“It has been an absolute privilege to have served HIE in my present post, and I am
both delighted and honoured to have been appointed as Chief Executive,” said Ms Wright.
“Our results for 2016-17 demonstrate a highly successful set of achievements in very
challenging economic circumstances, and our new operating plan for the current year
shows that we are as ambitious for every part of our region as we have ever been.”
“We will undoubtedly face some challenges in the next few years, as will other parts
of the country, but our businesses and communities have proven themselves time and
again to be resilient and adaptable to new circumstances.
“I look forward to working with our many partners to ensure the Highlands and Islands
continues to punch above its weight as a successful region and make a strong contribution
to Scotland’s economic growth.”
Professor Lorne Crerar, chair of HIE, said: “In Charlotte Wright, I am confident
we have found the ideal person to lead HIE into a new chapter. Her combination of
experience, skills and passion for the Highlands and Islands made her a clear choice
for this position.”
Enterprise agency appoints chief executive
13 June 2017
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new chief executive.
Charlotte Wright, who is currently the agency’s Director of Business and Sector Development,
has held the role on an temporary basis since August.