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Dornoch businesswoman Genevieve Duhigg named as new leader of North Highland Initiative

By Caroline McMorran

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A Dornoch businesswoman has been appointed to the top position at the North Highland Initiative.

Genevieve Duhigg has been named as the new, non-executive chairperson of the charity, succeeding David Whiteford who left after 12 years at the helm to join Highland Coast Hotels.

Mrs Duhigg is the first woman to occupy the chairperson’s post at NHI and will lead the organisation over the next three years.

Genevieve Duhigg.
Genevieve Duhigg.

She said: “I’m incredibly proud to be taking on this leading role for NHI, building on its many successes and helping to develop the future prosperity of the north Highlands.

“As chairperson, my focus will be on helping to strengthen communities in the north Highlands.

“I’m passionate about the region’s continued success and I look forward to working closely with our partners across the north Highlands in the years ahead.”

Mrs Duhigg brings 30 years’ commercial leadership experience to the role. Her executive career was mainly in publishing.

She worked as global digital director of the Penguin Group and also as chief digital officer and chief information officer for Pearson PLC.

She has held a varied portfolio of non-executive director positions across media, education, sport and financial services, including at Santander UK; Moneysupermarket; the Rugby Football Union and STV; as well as an advisory board member for Lego Education.

Since 2014, Mrs Duhigg has been the director of a property and retail business in Dornoch, with her husband, John.

John’s family moved to Dornoch in the late 1980s and Genevieve, John and their sons, have been visiting the Highlands for many years.

Mrs Duhigg also serves on Dornoch Area Community Council.

The North Highland Initiative was established in 2005 as a direct result of His Royal Highness the Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay’s involvement in bringing together the farming community, local businesses, and the tourism industry.

His aim was to try to address some of the challenges facing rural communities in the far north creating a powerful regional identity for the area.

As part of the overall objective of the charity, NHI operates across the counties of Caithness, Sutherland, and Ross & Cromarty to help make businesses and communities sustainable.

A spokesperson for NHI said that it would in 2022 continue to deliver its Community Infrastructure Support Programme (CISP), which has awarded over £98,000 to 107 projects across the region in the last two years.

The CISP awards initiative is now open for 2022 and is welcoming applications from communities across the North Highlands.

Successful applications will fall into NHI’s primary areas of activity; including food and farming; community support and leadership; and this year is also welcoming projects that build environmental sustainability and resilience.

NHI is also continuing its support for the John o’ Groats Trail, Countryside Learning Scotland, North Highland Products and continues to develop strong partnerships and programmes across the Highlands.

For more information about the NHI Community Infrastructure Support Programme (CISP), and to apply for funding in 2022, click here.

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