Sector Insights

What it's like to live in the Capital of the Highlands

There’s more to finding a job than just the role itself. Today we shine a light on what it’s like to live in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands including all those practicalities you might be concerned about.

Published: 10/04/2018

The most urban of all the Highlands and Islands locations, and the UK’s northernmost city, Inverness offers everything from retail to restaurants, boasting a population of over 45,000 in a picturesque setting at the mouth of the River Ness.

A picture of Inverness

Awarded city status in 2000, Inverness is one of Europe’s fastest growing cities and is consistently named as one of the ‘happiest places to live in Scotland’ in Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index.

The city is the gateway to many of Scotland’s tourist hot spots across the Highlands and Islands. If your placement is based here, a weekend away to discover hidden gems is easy to organise. Some of Scotland’s most beautiful mountains and beaches are on your doorstep including the Cairngorms National Park, Britain’s largest national park.

You get the best of both worlds as Inverness is well connected – with excellent road and rail links to the rest of Scotland and the UK including Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London – so you’re never out of touch with the big cities.  Inverness to Aberdeen takes about two hours and 15 minutes on the train, whilst services to Edinburgh and Glasgow are three and a half hours. There’s also an airport in Inverness, offering direct flights to the rest of the UK, the Scottish islands and Amsterdam.

As it’s a city with so much to offer there are a lot of sectors to work in including tourism, hospitality, retail, construction, IT, forestry, agriculture and fisheries.

Life Sciences plays a big role with the Inverness Campus, home to the £4.5m Life Sciences Centre, neighbouring with Inverness College UHI, one of the largest partners of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI).

Creative Industries are thriving here too, with XpoNorth, Scotland’s leading creative industries festival, taking place each June in the Highland capital.

XpoNorth, Scotland's leading creative industries festival

History and culture is all around - if you’re a fan of TV series ‘Outlander’, you can visit Culloden Battlefield, the site of the final clash of the Jacobite rising, located a short fifteen minute drive outside Inverness. You can indulge in a bit of Nessie-spotting, as world famous Loch Ness is a mere 30 minutes away, and every July, Inverness is host to one of the largest and oldest Highland Games in Scotland, bringing people together to toss a caber, throw a hammer and even hurl a haggis in a day of competition and tradition.

Along the banks of the Ness, there’s a cathedral, a castle, a museum and art gallery, a leisure centre, a theatre and even a botanical garden, and in this compact city nothing is ever too far away.

Tourists outdoors

Like most cities, Inverness has an Old Town boasting many beautiful historical buildings such as the covered Victorian Market in Queensgate. The city has undergone redevelopment in recent years with a £9m harbour revamp, an increase in open spaces and pedestrianised areas, and free public wi-fi in the city centre.

If career aspirations lead to Inverness then the average price of renting a flat is £350 to £450 per month, however this is a guide for students from the University of Highlands and Islands and could refer to shared accommodation.

We’ve had a number of success stories in Inverness including esave, an energy and environmental management consultancy who employed two graduates through ScotGrad. Leigh Campbell, a marketing graduate, developed the company's CRM system and communications plan and Pedro Rubio Martinez looked at developing new services and enhancing business processes for the company. Following their placements, both Leigh and Pedro were offered permanent roles.

ScotGrad placements in this city and all across Scotland are advertised throughout the year. Currently we have a live vacancy in Inverness for a Graduate Marketing and Communications Assistant at The Highlands Small Communities Housing Trust.

For more information about how graduates have supported business growth across Scotland take a look at our success stories. Never miss an update by registering with us.