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New development manager appointed for iconic Highland route NC500


By Federica Stefani

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Glen Docherty on the popular route. Picture by: Steven Gourlay Photography Ltd.
Glen Docherty on the popular route. Picture by: Steven Gourlay Photography Ltd.

The organisation behind one of Scotland’s most popular routes announced the creation of a new role.

After 13 years with the Federation of Small Businesses, David Richardson was appointed as development and engagement manager for the North Coast 500.

Based in Dornoch, Mr Richardson is a well-known tourism professional and a vocal supporter of the NC500.

In the newly created role, he will be responsible for meeting, communicating and liaising with the local communities on the route and its partner organisations and member businesses.

David Richardson was appointed as development and engagement manager for North Coast 500.
David Richardson was appointed as development and engagement manager for North Coast 500.

Mr RIchardson said: “Childhood visits to my granny in Gairloch kindled a love for the Highlands that led to my moving north to Dornoch in 1988 to run Sutherland Tourist Board, and over the past 36 years I’ve held a variety of roles, all of which have focused heavily on Highlands and Islands tourism.

“For the past 13 years I’ve been privileged to work for the Federation of Small Businesses, endeavouring to help businesses throughout the region achieve their ambitions. Working for NC500 is an ideal opportunity to continue that work.

“The North Coast 500 has been game changing for regional tourism in the north of Scotland and transformational for many businesses. At the heart of the route lies its vibrant local communities, who’s rich history and warm hospitality have played a vital role in the magnetism of the globally recognised travel bucket list destination.

“I will use whatever experience, skills and abilities I possess to work with our businesses and communities, further honing the resources and support available so that everyone can benefit from the sustainable development of the North Coast 500.”

Created in 2015 and bringing together just over 500 miles of coastal scenery, the North Coast 500 naturally follows the main roads along the coastal edges of the North Highlands of Scotland.

In 2018, the NC500 generated an additional £13.46m in sales for businesses on or near the route and created 179 full-time jobs in the North of Scotland.

Achmelvic Beach. Picture by: Steven Gourlay Photography Ltd.
Achmelvic Beach. Picture by: Steven Gourlay Photography Ltd.

Paying tribute to Mr Richardson’s work on behalf of Highlands and Islands small businesses, Colin Borland, director of devolved nations at the FSB, said: “David has been the most passionate and effective advocate for the Highlands and Islands – and the small businesses on whom the region depends – for thirteen years. He knows that strong, sustainable local communities need strong, sustainable local economies – and I’m sure that’s a message he’ll be bringing to every inch of this iconic 500-mile route.

“Together with his many friends and colleagues in FSB, I’m very sad to see him go, but we know he’ll be continuing his good work, banging the drum for Highland small business, which can only be a good thing.”


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