1st November 1965

The Highlands and Islands Development Board opens

The Highland and Islands Development Board was established to support economic activity across an area of nine million acres, which is home to almost quarter of a million people.

It was established by the Highlands and Islands Development (Scotland) Act under the labour prime minister, Harold Wilson, and had the power to acquire land if it was in the interest of the Highlands’ economy. As part of this, it was involved in the decision to establish Dounreay as a centre for nuclear research.

Model of Dounreay reactor, on display at the V&A, Dundee
Model of Dounreay reactor, on display at the V&A, Dundee

Small beginnings

Upon opening its Inverness office on 1 November 1965, the Board had just six members of staff, and was chaired by Professor Robert Grieve.

“No one in the Highlands underestimates the magnitude of the task confronting Professor Grieve and his colleagues, although they are certain to have the good will and co-operation of the people of the area in any scheme they care to promote for the social and economic development of the Highlands,” reported the Glasgow Herald on the day of the Board’s opening. “Although it is perhaps unfortunate that the board should take office at a time of national economic difficulties, the Highlands have been designated a development area and therefore should escape most of the effects of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s cut-back in expenditure.”

The Board was replaced by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in April 1991.

Highlands of Scotland
Highlands of Scotland



Other events that occured in November

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