Eann is from Thurso and graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Scottish and English Literature before gaining an MSc in Tourism.
He has held a variety of HIE roles in the area, including head of strengthening communities and programme manager of the Caithness and North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership (CNSRP).
He was appointed acting area manager in August, following Roy Kirk’s move to head up the new spaceport development.
Confirming the appointment, David Oxley, HIE’s director of business and sector development, said:
“Through his work with the Regeneration Partnership in particular, Eann has repeatedly proved himself as a focused and motivated leader. He has wide experience of Caithness and Sutherland and has built strong relationships with many key partners. I am delighted to confirm his permanent appointment as area manager.”
Eann added: “This is an exciting time for Caithness and Sutherland. The ports at Wick and Scrabster are ideally placed for oil and gas and offshore renewables opportunities. The NC500 is boosting tourism to the benefit of the many businesses and attractions around the route, notably food and drink firms and accommodation providers, as well as vibrant community-led work in Dornoch and the Kyle of Sutherland.
“We are also involved in the growing technology and advanced engineering sector, with companies such as Denchi Power, while the likes of Ashley Ann in Wick is an example of a strong manufacturing business.
“With all of this going on, as well as the prospect of a new spaceport, I am very pleased to be taking on the area manager role, working with colleagues in the area and beyond for the benefit of the region.”