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New Highland Tourism CIC board appointment will help connect tourism and renewable energy sector


By Calum MacLeod

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George Baxter has just joined the board of regional tourism support group Highland Tourism CIC.
George Baxter has just joined the board of regional tourism support group Highland Tourism CIC.

Leading renewable energy industry and environment specialist, George Baxter, has been added to the board of Highland Tourism CIC.

Mr Baxter has played a key role in numerous renewable energy projects in the Highlands and Islands, including the Stronelairg and Viking Wind Farms and the Coire Glas pumped hydro storage scheme in the Great Glen.

He joined Scottish owned independent renewable energy business GreenPower, as development director in 2019 after 12 years at SSE contributing to the consenting and construction pipeline of over 3.5GW of renewable energy and storage projects.

Mr Baxter said: “Tourism and renewable energy have a rich and long history in the Highlands and Islands, growing and working alongside each other – and the need and opportunity to work together for the common good has never been greater. So I am delighted to support Highland Tourism and make a contribution as best I can.

“The collective response required to tackle the Covid-19, climate and nature crises needs new and bolder ideas and more urgent, positive action. It is an opportunity to create healthier, living landscapes and vibrant, sustainable communities with skills and good jobs – to create a place that houses, supports, connects and nourishes as much its own people as its visitors – and renewable energy has a massive role to play and contribution to make in that endeavour. Scotland’s, and the Highland’s, climate change response has the chance to be a beacon to the world – and who wouldn’t want to visit that? Sustainably of course!”

As a strong advocate for building links between the renewable sector and the Highland community, Mr Baxter initiated SSE’s support for the Highlands and Island Tourism Awards and partnership working with UHI to develop renewable and energy skills programmes. His significant industry experience includes five years as board director at trade body Scottish Renewables.

Yvonne Crook, Highland Tourism CIC co-founder and chairwoman, said: “Renewable energy is here to stay and it is growing in the Highlands. Investment from this sector should be harnessed not just to help with the important net zero goals and fighting climate change, but also to create new sustainable opportunities for the vital tourism sector in the region.

“George’s addition to the board brings us skills, knowledge and experience in marrying renewables with tourism, and we are delighted to have him join us. His guidance and input will help us to create wider benefits for tourism businesses and enhance the brand story of the Highlands.”

Mr Baxter's appointment strengthens the Community Interest Company's goal of developing a sustainable travel economy in the Highlands that benefits the region.


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