Dunvegan Castle and Gardens were given prestigious award for restoration and developmental work.

More than 200 rural business owners and industry leaders gathered at Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh on Thursday 3 October for the Scottish Land & Estates Helping It Happen awards.

The Helping It Happen Campaign aims to highlight how landowners and rural businesses play a key role in enabling and supporting success in rural areas.

The award case study commented on the Castle: "As the home of the clan MacLeod for 800 years, Dunvegan Castle is a major heritage attraction and key driver of economic growth on the Isle of Skye, acting as a magnet for over 168,000 visitors each year.

"Ranked 18 out Scotland's Top 20 Paid Attractions by the Moffat Centre last year, the Estate is one of the island's largest private sector employers with around 60 employees, 17 of which are permanent.

"Annually the estate contributes £700,000 through a combination of employment, purchase of local goods and services and since 2008 alone, it has contributed in excess of £5.2m to the Skye economy."

Hugh MacLeod, Dunvegan Castle & Gardens Estate Director, said: “I would like to thank the judges of the Scottish Land & Estates Helping it Happen Awards. I am delighted to accept this tourism award on behalf of the fantastic MacLeod Estate team who work so hard behind the scenes to give visitors our trademark warm Highland welcome."

Pictured at the Helping It Happen Awards in Edinburgh are (L-R): Tim Baynes from Gift of Grouse, Hugh MacLeod from Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, George McNeill and David Johnstone from Scottish Land & Estates.