This year, the SHIREs Conference theme is "Our land, our lives, our legacy", with a focus on creating sustainable businesses and communities as the entire world moves towards what will hopefully be a more sustainable future.
With speakers representing government, communities, businesses and the next generation of our rural population, the event will take a look at all aspects of the modern rural economy and look for answers to the big question of – how do we build for the future?
The greater Highlands and Islands has vast amounts of Natural Capital, presenting the opportunity for local businesses, organisations and communities to thrive.
From the crofts, farms and estates working the land and selling their produce, to the manufacturers, entrepreneurs, creators and even those pioneers harnessing the power of the ocean, there is a wealth of talent and innovation around the region.
The Conference will be of interest to anyone with a stake in our rural economy, and the initiatives which are helping to drive it forward as a recognisable, distinct and hugely important part of the overall Scottish economy.
With vast pools of talent, natural resources, history and a uniqueness which adds value to all that it produces, the Highlands and Islands rural economy is special, and we need to let everyone know.
The 20% of the population living in rural areas, many of whom work for small, local businesses deserve greater recognition – and that's what the SHIRE conference is all about
The conference will bring together those involved in all areas of the rural economy with leading figures representing the industries and organisations which are playing a key role in driving the Highlands, Islands & Moray forward
The SHIREs conference is all about:
• the modern businesses, from manufacturing to tourism, which are also driving the economy
• the 'Blue Economy', from fishing and shipping to energy and much more
• Natural Capital: agriculture, land & estates and forestry - the bedrock of rural Scotland
• the people who make modern rural Scotland thrive