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The Highland Council

About the Council

The Highland Council is one of 32 all-purpose councils in Scotland, serving around 235,830 people across 26,484 sq km. There are 74 elected members and the administration is a coalition of Independent; Scottish Liberal Democrat; and Scottish Labour Party councillors. The Council provides a vast range of services with a revenue budget of £640m for 2021-2022.

Operationally, we have streamlined our Services to meet changes in planning and licensing legislation and to meet the Scottish Government’s drive for more efficient working within tighter budget guidelines. Highland Council currently has seven service departments:

In addition to these departments a wide range of functions in Performance and Governance support the Chief Executive and Council’s Leadership. The Communications and Resilience Office function manages external and internal communications and emergency planning and resilience functions and a graphic design service. The Elections Team also provides support for all local, and national elections with the Chief Executive as Returning Officer. Other supporting functions and teams include:

  • Policy and Reform, and Ward Management
  • Corporate Leadership Support (parliamentary and political liaison, Ombudsman, Freedom of information and data protection, and councillor support)
  • Corporate Governance (Elections, Legal, Democratic Services, and Trading Standards)

The Highland economy is centred on tourism, life sciences, renewable energy and aquaculture and has recently welcomed the £110m investment in the Nigg Offshore Wind (“NOW”) tower rolling factory. Tourism is booming with the rise in staycationing an increased popularity in motor homing and the region continues to be a popular area for the film and television industry.

The Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal is delivering £315m of investment through Scottish and UK Governments, the Council and regional partners. This 10 year programme aims to deliver a step change in transport, innovation, digital connectivity, housing, skills, infrastructure, life sciences and tourism. Major progress is being made on the flagship redevelopment of Inverness Castle which will become a major tourism destination in the country.

For more information on the Council’s service structure please visit this link (for information on services, ‘Know your Council’; performance and our priorities); and also see how the Council works (for information on councillors, committees, scheme of delegation and our organisational structure).

We are currently planning for the budget for 2022-2023 and more information will become available at this link in due course once the final settlement from Scottish Government is confirmed.

Other information can be found on Redesign of the Council – Transforming our Service DeliveryCity Region Deal and the Community Planning Partnership at these links provided.

The Highland Council Health and Safety Policy can be viewed here – 4356 Highland Council Health and Safety Policy


About the Highlands

It may be one of the most recognisable corners of Scotland, but there is still a lot you don’t know about the Highlands.

The Highlands offer one of the most distinctive lifestyle choices available anywhere in the world. It is one of the most attractive places to live, work and socialise. The area offers diversity of geography, blessed with outdoor opportunities and a rich culture with a guaranteed friendly welcome.

Considering a move to the area? Links to schools, further education and housing can be found below:

Hidden Highlands


Health and Safety Policy