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COUNCIL CONTINUES SUPPORT FOR HIGHLAND OPPORTUNITY LTD 4 February 03

Highland Council recently pledged its continued support to Highland Opportunity Limited when members of the Council's Planning, Development, Europe and Tourism Committee agreed to continue to support the company with funding of 115,000 throughout the coming financial year.

Council members heard of the wide ranging activities and achievements of Highland Opportunity Ltd. (HOL) which is the enterprise trust for the Highlands providing discretionary financial assistance, professional business support, youth enterprise services and European consultancy to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Company Manager, David Owen highlighted to committee members the achievements of HOL in the organisation's end of year annual report.

During the financial year 2002/03 HOL helped to 123 jobs located throughout the Highlands and around 318,000 loan assistance was granted. In the calendar year of 2003, 222 jobs were supported.

Since creation of HOL in 1986, the company has supported more than an estimated 2% of the working Highland population. These figures include 955 loan awards to the total value of 5.54 million, supporting 3,072 jobs.

David Owen said: "I am delighted that The Highland Council has continued its support of Highland Opportunity Ltd. and we look forward to receiving our 1000th client in the very near future."

Chairman of The Highland Council's Planning, Development, Europe and Tourism Committee, Councillor Sandy Park reminded all members that: "Access to HOL enterprise loan applications is through The Highland Council Area Development Manager's offices."