Councils across Highlands and Islands back Scottish Government policy to boost repopulation

Council leaders and key organisations across the Highlands and Islands have agreed to work with the Scottish Government to tackle population decline.

While Scotland’s population is increasing nationally it is declining in rural and island communities.

At a meeting in Inverness, the Convention of the Highlands and Islands (CoHI) has agreed to treat the issue as a priority.

It has also endorsed the Scottish Government’s population programme to make all communities attractive places to live, work and bring up families.

The agreement will see councils and key bodies such as Visit Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highlands and Islands work with ministers to develop solutions at a national, regional and local level.

Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for external affairs, said: “I welcome this collective agreement that repopulation of our rural and island communities is a challenge we need to work together to address.

“While the Scottish Government can implement national policies to look at the overall balance of the population it is important these issues are also tackled where appropriate at a regional and at local community level.

“This agreement will build on the work being undertaken by the Ministerial Taskforce on Population and will help ensure we can support and sustain population growth in our local communities both now and in the future.”


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