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Chance for Badenoch and Strathspey firms to shine at Royal Highland Show

By Gavin Musgrove

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The cattle parade at the Royal Highland Show.
The cattle parade at the Royal Highland Show.

Firms from the strath have the chance to be in the spotlight at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh this June, as the annual celebration of rural life in Scotland returns in person for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic.

This year’s show is a particularly special one as it is the 200th anniversary of the first show which took place in the Canongate, close to where the Scottish Parliament now sits.

Since moving to its permanent home at Ingliston in 1960, each region in Scotland takes its turn to be host and 2022 sees the Highlands and Islands using the opportunity to showcase its innovation and resilience over the last two centuries, as well as highlighting the best of its produce.

Honorary President Ewan Macdonald explained: “We’re immensely proud to have the chance to be host region in this very special year for the Royal Highland Show.

"And we’re using the chance to demonstrate how we have survived and thrived for centuries in this part of the world, by using our natural resources.”

With the theme “Scotland’s Natural Capital – Highlands and Islands”, a specially created exhibition will focus on our rural economy, tourism and culture, food and drink, as well as renewable energy and tackling climate change.

Mr Macdonald said: "The various zones will tell the story of a region which has always used its natural resources to innovate from the first commercial hydro scheme in the country at Loch Ness to the groundbreaking marine energy centre at Stromness.

"And it’s an area whose stunning scenery, amazing wildlife and fascinating history and culture attract visitors from around the world.”

The Presidential Initiative Marquee will tell the story of the Highlands and Islands region and its innovation in three areas – tackling climate change, food and drink and tourism.

A major feature will be the importance of restoring peatland, in part supported by the Cairngorm National Park Authority.

A large section of the popular food hall has been given over to Highlands and Islands food producers.

And there will also be a focus on the region in the Home and Gift Hall with a number of crafters and artists selling their wares. Ghillie Basan and the Lynbreck Crofters will feature in chef demonstrations and 'In Conversation' sessions at the Food for Thought Theatre.

It is a fantastic opportunity for Badenoch and Strathspey exhibitors to reach up to 200,000 visitors that will attend the show over the four days from Thursday 23rd June to Sunday 26th June.

Mr Macdonald commented: “Many of these small producers could never consider attending the show on their own, but through grants we’ve been able to make it more affordable so they can test the water.

"And we’re delighted to have such a spread of talent from across our whole region. This is our chance to show the rest of the country the fantastic place we call home. It’s always been a place where we turn our challenges into opportunities.

“If any food producers are interested in attending the show there may still be a few small spaces available so just get in touch.”

As well as the smaller producers the Presidential Initiative will be promoting the work of some of the more established players in the region such as Walkers, Johnston’s of Elgin and ANTA.

For more information contact Sarah Mackie on 0787 9608975.

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