NEW DEAL PUTS HIGHLAND BALL BACK IN KINGSMILLS’ COURT


Organisers of the biggest media event in the Highlands and Islands have agreed a new two-year deal with the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness.


The annual Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards (HIPBMA) has been held at the Kingsmills for the last three years and will now remain at the four-star venue at least until 2021.


The hotel has frozen its dinner and room rates for the duration of the deal, meaning ball guests will have no price increases for five consecutive years.


The next edition of the event will be held on 7 February, 2020, the 32nd consecutive year it has been staged since it was revived and expanded in the late 1980s.


Leading PR and communications company Quatro will be organising the ball and awards for the first time since acquiring the team at Inverness-based System2, which has been involved in the previous eight events.


The Press Ball is the only event that brings together so many of the region’s media representatives, including those from print, broadcasting and online outlets, across a huge geographical area.


Journalists and PR managers from Shetland to Argyll and from Moray to the Outer Hebrides will be joined by the heads of private and public sector organisations and local politicians at the event that also celebrates and rewards the best in Highlands and Islands journalism.


Press Ball chairman John Ross, Quatro’s head of media, who re-established the ball in the 1980s, said: “The Kingsmills Hotel has been a wonderful setting for the Press Ball and we are delighted to have secured this deal that will maintain this partnership for another two years.


“It ensures our guests receive excellent value for money at a top quality hotel.”


Craig Ewan, operations director of the Kingsmills Group, said: “The Highlands and Islands Press Ball and Media Awards is a long-established local institution which we are proud to host for the next two years.


“We are excited that our association with the event is to continue and we look forward to another great night in February.”

An important part of HIPBMA is its charity fundraising. It has now donated more than £105,000 to local good causes, with all the money staying in the Highlands and Islands.


The event has announced that the four charities to benefit in 2020 will be Alzheimer Scotland, DAY 1, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland and Birchwood Highland.

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