The past year has seen NHC necessarily focussing on the need to galvanise ongoing support and cooperation with the public agencies and the private funding sector. We continue to hold the vision of the transformational potential of the three international cultural hubs, while strengthening and enlarging the partnerships which will undergird NHC and help us to establish long-term sustainability. The challenges would be considerable at any time, but the years of our existence have coincided with a lengthy period of financial recession which has hit arts and cultural organisations with particular severity.


After a long period of negotiation Creative Scotland has agreed to release the first half of the development award agreed in September, 2012. That will allow us to proceed with the community and stake holder conversations, building the case for the hubs which will in turn strengthen our bids for public and private funding.


Alongside the capital programme NHC is committed to offering a diverse, quality programme of cultural and educational/vocational activities around the huge region we aim to serve. That has been of necessity somewhat uneven in its spread until this time. We are currently negotiating a very ambitious funding package with several private foundations which will allow us to present 100 events over a three year period, based in 45 communities in the North Highlands. In planning and presenting this programme NHC will work closely with its key partners, and especially the University of Highlands & Islands.


Our fellow providers will be very familiar with the challenges we all face. Lack of facilities is a major issue which the NHC plans for the hubs will address in spades. However, we do not yet have those world-class facilities, but the 3-year programme is, in part, aimed at raising the temperature and the expectation leading into the opening of the first hub. A recent conversation with Dr Ingbert Bluthner, head of the world-famous German piano maker, has secured an agreement to lend NHC a new concert grand piano which we will house and be able to move to venues whenever the 3-year programme requires such an instrument. The piano would cost between £60,000 and £70,000 to buy, so it is easy to see what a generous and supportive gesture this is! It means that places where there are limitations on what musical events can be mounted because of the severe lack of suitable pianos will now be able to enjoy a fuller programme of events.


To be kept informed of progress and developments, please join our e-mail contact list, or keep an eye on this website.



Some Recent Events...

Take a look at some of the events presented by NHC over the last few months. If you want to see more about these activities, please go to the Events page or click here.

Norht Highland Connections Second Creative Week

Developing the North's Creative Spirit

North Highland Connections aims. . .

To increase accessibility and equity of opportunity by providing a diverse year-round programme of cultural activities in venues across the North Highlands.

To develop a physical infrastructure to stimulate and support the creative industries by developing building hubs generating sustainable programmes of creative and cultural activities

To develop the skills base and opportunities for young people in creative industries by offering participation in a varied programme of educational and vocational activities to students in the Highland schools and colleges

To develop practical creative links and exchanges with Scandinavian partner countries by developing a programme of cultural exchanges with the group of Scandinavian countries working with NHC as the North Highland Nordic Cultural Centre



Creative Scotland has recently awarded North Highland Connections a development grant of up to £100,000. This is specifically to allow NHC to further develop its plans for an ambitious project which will create three world-class cultural hubs in the region. The grant will allow further work to be done on developing business plans which can ensure sustainability in the years ahead.

The plans for a residential creative centre in the historic girnal at Ham have long been in the public domain. It is planned that the regeneration of the building will be undertaken by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust. A significant grant towards the work has been awarded by Historic Scotland, but more will be needed in order to allow the work to get underway. The building, in its inspiring setting, will be a place of creativity, used both by the local community and by some of the 23 partner organizations developed by NHC. Plans are rapidly developing for work in conjunction with the University of the Highlands & Islands, as well as with the five Nordic countries with which NHC has developed partnerships.

The hopes for the other two hubs include a performance centre and a world-class visual arts centre. As this ambitious vision continues to develop there will be a good deal of community engagement to ensure that the local communities of the North Highlands are fully engaged in the process. The Creative Scotland award will enable this to get underway over the next six months.


New Online Access


Thank you for visiting the new North Highland Connections website. Browse it to find out more about us, our events, our projects, and our strategy for the future.

We had a thrilling year, a remarkable and memorable annual arts programme! We have posted pictures on our EVENTS page.


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North Highland Connections
Duke Street

KW10 6RP

United Kingdom
Tel: 01408 633 964

Mobile: 07521 077053



Or use our online contact form.