The Castle Leod Meeting
Hamish Mackenzie, Lord John Mackenzie, Fergus Ewing MSP, Rosalind Macrae, Hector Munro, Graeme Mackenzie, John Graham

Highland Clan Partnership Group(HCPG) has members appointed by the Scottish Government representative of the Highland Clans and contains Clan Chiefs, Officers of Societies and Senior Management of Clans. The various members are chosen to reflect the different models of Clans and Clan Societies in the Highlands. The role of HCPG is a partnership with Scottish Government Departments and Bodies to represent the Highland Clans. HCPG is a steering group, not a delivery organisation at this point in time.

The seeds of the group were set at a meeting in Castle Leod on the 7th December of 2012. The Minister of Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP met with a small group to discuss the opportunities for Clan Tourism in the Highlands and the concerns that too much effort had been directed to the Central Belt. The Minister proved very supportive of the aims and presentation and a further meeting was arranged on Friday 1st February 2013 at the Drummossie Hotel in Inverness at which some twenty one Highland Clans were present as well as representation from The Scottish Government, Visit Scotland, The National Trust For Scotland, Homecoming 2014 and The Highland Council. The outcome of that meeting was the formation of the HCPG which first met on the 22nd March 2013. The Highland Clans Partnership Group is a steering  group incorporating Scottish Government, VisitScotland, The Highland Council and a group of people representative of the Highland Clans. It is jointly chaired by John Mackenzie, Earl of Cromartie and Malcolm Roughead, CEO of Visit Scotland. The membership of the Highland Clan Partnership Group, listed below, was signed off at the first meeting of the group, attended by amongst others  Mr. Ewing, Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, to drive through a process of aspirations referred to as The Big Ask. A copy of which is on the web site. Members were also seconded to the Bannockburn event and appointments to the Ancestral Tourism Steering Group. There is a close liaison with VisitScotland regarding the refreshment of their web site and extending information relating to the Highland Clans. Appointees to this Partnership group are not remunerated.

Highland Clan Partnership Group

–  REMIT –


A group co-chaired by John Mackenzie, Earl of Cromartie, and Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland to ensure good dialogue and collaborative working between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and other parts of the public sector and Scotland’s Highland Clans in the promotion of Highland Clan Tourism


To work collaboratively in delivering against the ‘11 Asks’ of the Highland Clan representatives, those being:

1. A seat at the table as a stakeholder in Tourism in Scotland

2. A full acceptance within VisitScotland of the place of Ancestral and Heritage Tourism.

3. A calendar of Clan Events, links to Clan Websites, Blogs and Social Media as well as a listing of all Clan Societies and Associations based in Scotland with contact details available through the Visit Scotland Web Portal.

4. Displays and associated leaflets dedicated to the Clans in each region should be featured in each Visitor Information Centre.

5. The creation of a national Clan Trail in the same way as the Whiskey Trail.

6. Support the creation of local Tourist Guides based on Clan History.

7. A realisation that for many visitors to Scotland there is a desire for access to Genealogy for their family history.

8. An acceptance that much Clan History is Highland based and a greater support for Tourism and Culture.

9. A pilot study defining the importance of Clan Tourism in the North Highlands.

10.  Financial assistance in the marketing, planning and delivery of Gatherings and other Clan Events in the Highlands and Islands.

11.  Dedicated staff in Visit Scotland to support marketing and delivery of Clan Tourism.


The group will:

  • look in detail at the ‘11 Asks’, what is already being done, what more could be done to realise these objectives and how some of the activity might also be applied on a Scotland-wide basis;
  • improve channels of communication between Scottish Government, VisitScotland and the Highland Clan Chiefs and Societies;
  • provide greater engagement with the Highland Clans to support and promote local events (including the development of a funding model to support clan events across Scotland);
  • demonstrate the Clans value to the Highland tourism and the economy;
  • Involve the Highland Clans in contributing to the delivery of the common goal in the “ Tourism Scotland 2020” strategy of “making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people”.

Current Highland appointees of the Higland Clan Partnership Group

Lord John Mackenzie, Earl of Cromartie        Clan Mackenzie

Hector Munro                                                      Clan Munro           (Finance sub group)

Norman McPherson                                            Clan Macpherson (Bannockburn WG)

Rosalind Macrae                                                   Clan Macrae

Lachland Stewart                                                  Clan Stewart

Graeme Mackenzie                                               Association of Highland Clans & Societies

John Graham                                                         Co-ordinator       (Finance sub group)

Scott Armstrong, Regional Director                    Visit Scotland     (Finance sub group)

Dr. Stuart Black                                                      The Highland Council

Scottish Government Members (varies according to agenda)

Malcolm Roughead, CEO                                       Visit Scotland

Kevin Hanlon,                                                                                                                                       Head of Homecoming & Themed Years Team    Scottish Government

Jamie Steed, Diaspora Project Lead                      Scottish Government

This web site is simply the Highland Portal for the HCPG provided to inform and update the Highland Clans and Societies of progress of the HCPG. Comments on this site do not necessarily reflect Government policy.


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