Media Release: Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture to launch at Lochaber Ideas Week

C Kennedy photo

ON Friday 20 November, Jim Wallace, Baron Wallace of Tankerness, PC, QC, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, will give the inaugural Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture, the new annual lecture dedicated to a man passionate about Fort William and Lochaber, during Lochaber Ideas Week 2015.

The title of the first Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture, being staged at West Highland College UHI, Fort William, between 1700 and 1900, is: ‘A Highland Style of Politics: How Charles Kennedy’s Highland heritage shaped him, his politics and his life’.

It will debate whether or not, as residents of Lochaber, do the people draw on the influence of a Highland culture and what does this bring to them, as people, as a work force and as politicians.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception with an informal business and political networking session.

Willie Rennie, MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “It is wonderful that the Lochaber Chamber have taken the lead by organising this lecture to remember Charles Kennedy. I know that Charles greatly valued the good relationship with the Chamber.

“Charles leaves a lasting legacy for the Highlands with his work especially on vital transport links and also a lasting legacy for the nation with his opposition to the Iraq war, his pro-European stance and his voice against independence.

“His impact on the nature of our politics with his affable and respectful style will be missed. Jim Wallace, our former deputy First Minister and now Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords, will deliver a fascinating lecture.”

Anne Widdop, vice-chair of Lochaber Chamber, who is organising Ideas Week, said: “We felt it was a fitting and lasting tribute to Charles Kennedy to establish an annual lecture.

“I would like to think he would have approved and be delighted that his legacy is celebrated with a lecture and debate and that this is hosted in Lochaber – a place he was passionate about and worked tirelessly for.”

Hosting a number of educational workshops, competitions, discussions, inspirational talks and networking opportunities, Lochaber Ideas Week, this year running from 16 to 21 November, is an annual event that celebrates business, education and community in the region.

It runs in parallel with Global Entrepreneurship Week and Scotland’s Towns Week.

Lochaber Ideas Week, presented by Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, provides an unique platform of opportunities in which to provoke new ideas, stimulate fresh initiatives and ventures and inspire action.

Its goal is to create new connections and points of collaboration thereby building a diverse community of practitioners who want to develop new ways of activating, interacting, collaborating and marketing Lochaber as a great place to live, work, study and do business in.

The event also encourages new business start-ups and assists existing businesses to improve their leadership and sustainability.

Says a spokesperson: “Charles Kennedy, who was a long-term resident of Fort William before his untimely death earlier in 2015, was passionate about Lochaber and promoting its rich cultural, business and sporting heritage to the wider UK community.

“He was a deeply committed, robust, sincere and passionate politician with a combination of brain, talent, charm, brilliant wit, rock solid principles and bags of humanity. He was also one of the most gifted politicians of his generation and the most electorally successful leader of the Liberal Democrats winning 62 seats for the party at the 2006 general election.”

The Rt Hon. the Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC is a British politician and Advocate who has been the Liberal Democrat leader in the House of Lords since 2013. His former roles in a very distinctive political career include deputy leader of the House of Lords, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and Deputy First Minister of Scotland. As an MSP and MP he presided over Orkney; Orkney and Shetland and Dumfries.

Anne Widdop added: “Securing Baron Wallace as the inaugural speaker is entirely appropriate – as one of Scotland’s most prominent and long standing politicians, he knew Charles well and is delighted to give this address.”

For the full programme and more information on Lochaber Ideas Week 2015 go to:

Lochaber Ideas Week Facebook page:

For tickets:


Media contact:

For further information, images or to arrange interviews please contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: / M: 07913 951717.

Notes to editors:

Lochaber Ideas Week – 16 – 21 November 2015

Lochaber Ideas Week is presented each year by Lochaber Chamber of Commerce. The week-long event celebrates business, education and community through a gathering of exceptional talks, workshops, competitions, discussion and networking opportunities. Ultimately, Lochaber Ideas Week is a catalyst to stimulate fresh initiatives and ventures, creating new connections and points of collaboration designed to enhance the area we live in.

Lochaber Ideas Week runs in parallel with Global Entrepreneurship Week and Scotland’s Towns Week. Attending Lochaber Ideas Week will allow you to become part of a diverse community of practitioners from Lochaber, the Highlands and the UK. Lochaber Ideas Week will offer a unique platform to share your ideas, hear ideas on the next big projects in our region and provides a multitude of opportunities. You won’t want to miss it!

All events are ticketed with a range of pricing including many FREE tickets.

You can find all ticketing information on Eventbrite. You can also keep an eye on the Official Ideas Week Facebook page for all the latest information and take a look at the videos below to get a feel for previous years’ events.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by Littlehouse Media. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

To catch up on all the media releases recently posted on to, you need only click the link icon that you see towards the bottom right of our two media release ‘gateway boxes’. 

Link iconIt’s this icon, here. It’s your route straight into the rich archive.

Littlehouse Media contact details…

Contact: Paddy Cuthbert

Website: http://www.