Glasgow & West Scotland

Burns supper to be staged on Mount Kilimanjaro

HIT Scotland chief executive David Cochrane addresses the haggis in a Burns supper held on Arthur's Seat earlier this year to appeal for donations
Image caption Money raised from the climb will be used to boost the hospitality industry

A group of climbers is to take Scottish hospitality to new heights - by hosting the world's first Burns supper on top of Mount Kilimanjaro in January.

About 20 people from the service and hospitality industry will take on the peak to raise funds for the charity Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT).

Organisers said more than £60,000 had been raised so far towards a target of £150,000 for the event.

Celebrities taking part include top Scottish chef Andrew Fairlie.

The team will climb to the top of Africa's highest peak before eating a special haggis made by awarding-winning Perthshire butcher Simon Howie. The meal will be washed down with stout and whisky produced by drinks giant Diageo.

The two companies have donated a total of £40,000 to HIT Scotland, while more than £20,000 has already been raised by the climbers who include Scottish comedian and BBC presenter Fred MacAuley.

Meanwhile, HIT have announced a £100,000 Scottish initiative to improve standards and aspirations for the country's hospitality and tourism industry.

Emerging talent

The emerging talent scholarships scheme is open to the 184,000 Scots employed in hospitality, tourism, travel, leisure or catering.

The cash will fund about 100 scholarships during 2011.

Organisers claimed the scheme could return more than £1m a year to Scotland's £4.1bn tourism and hospitality sector through new skills, promoting best practice and improving staff retention.

Placements through the scheme will range from working in Michelin-starred kitchens to learning how six-star resorts in Dubai maintain their standards.

Scholars can also take courses at the Disney Institute in Florida, Europe's top hospitality school in Lausanne, Switzerland, or at the Ivy League Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in New York state.

Applications for places close on 31 October.

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