Page last updated at 09:45 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 10:45 UK

'There's no place like home'

Highlands and Islands Enterprise gathered the following case studies of two young people who fit its survey criteria.

LIANNE ANDERSON, 24
Lianne Anderson (Pic: HIE)

Born and brought up in the Highlands, Ms Anderson said there was no place like home.

She said: "I've never even considered moving away. The region has so much going for it.

"It's a great environment to live in, the people are friendly and centres such as Inverness and Aviemore have loads going on for all ages."

Both her sisters have moved away - one is teaching in Dubai - but since school Ms Anderson knew it was Dingwall where she wanted to live and start her own business.

She set up Little Angel's, a children's nursery, in 2006 and three years later has 80 children on its register and provides jobs for 12 local people.

Having her family nearby has also been an important factor.

She said: "My parents are incredibly supportive of the business which has grown beyond anything I'd expected.

"I've always been very clear what it is I wanted to do. Running my own business in the place I want to be is brilliant. I can't imagine living anywhere else."

TOBY MACLEAN, 29
Toby Maclean (Pic: HIE)

Mr MacLean's moved with his parents from Shropshire to Portmahomack.

The family had holidayed in the area for many years and moved permanently in 1998 to be closer to his grandparents.

Mr MacLean said: "We'd been coming up two or three times a year so I knew the area really well and had already made a number of good friends."

He now runs a joinery business with his father.

The 29-year-old said: "The quality of life up here is second to none. The people are friendly and things are much more laid back than other parts of the UK.

"It's a fantastic place to be."

Mr MacLean gets married later this year and he said his fiancée Claire McGrory has already felt the pull of the Highlands.

He said: "Claire worked in London but, like me, enjoyed holidays here.

"She moved up for good last year and hasn't looked back. My grandparents have both sadly died but Claire and I now live in their home so it's a bit like going back to your roots."


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