National population statistics underline imperative of addressing Argyll’s projected depopulation

New national population estimates were released at the end of October by the National Records of Scotland [NRS]. These indicate that Scotland’s population will rise from 5.35 million in 2014 to 5.51 million over the next 10 years and grow to 5.7 million by 2039, an increase of 7% over the next 25 year period.

However, in contrast, the NRS last year predicted that Argyll and Bute’s population will fall by 13.5% by 2037, the second largest projected decline of any local authority in Scotland. At the same time, the working age population is predicted to fall by almost 22%.

Jamie McGrigor, Highlands & Islands MSP, and Donald Cameron, the Scottish Conservative Candidate for Argyll & Bute in next year’s Holyrood election, have repeated calls to make it a policy priority to tackle Argyll & Bute’s projected population decline .

Donald Cameron says: ‘The new NRS data confirms that Scotland’s population is due to increase in the years ahead. This is in stark contrast to the predictions for Argyll & Bute  – and is another timely reminder of the need for national government, its agencies and local government to make tackling projected depopulation in the area a continuing policy priority.

‘The consequences of Argyll & Bute’s population decline are already being felt to some extent, for example in the Local Government Boundary Commission’s decision to cut three councillors from the area and radically alter the boundaries of the remaining wards, something that has led to significant local concern.

‘Boosting economic growth and attracting new businesses and jobs to the area is fundamental and this means we need to see real investment in our road links and ferry services and the delivery of reliable broadband across all parts of Argyll & Bute. The area has a great deal to offer new businesses, visitors and prospective residents alike but we need to make sure our infrastructure is robust and Argyll & Bute can compete with other parts of Scotland.’

Jamie McGrigor MSP, who earlier this year initiated a Member’s Debate in the Scottish Parliament on addressing Argyll & Bute’s projected depopulation, says: ‘I have already welcomed the creation of Argyll and Bute’s Economic Forum and wish it success in seeking to increase economic development in the area.

‘Trying to reverse depopulation is one of the biggest challenges facing Argyll & Bute as in some areas we run the risk of losing the critical mass- and associated tax income needed to sustain vital public services.

‘I will continue to speak out on this subject and press the Scottish Government to focus on this very serious long term issue.’

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Related Articles & Comments

  • To misquote the oleaginous one; infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. Unless the cost of doing business of all kinds is reduced across Argll and Bute the decline will only continue, and that means roads, ferries, telecommunications, housing and to a lesser extent commercial premises and business rates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    db November 5, 2015 12:46 am Reply
  • Living and running a business in Argyll is really a life style choice now, the powers that be seem to thing that we have everything going for us. The truth is we don’t and by that I mean just the basics to run a business.

    Everywhere I travel to is way much further ahead in everything to attract business to there area. They have a much better choice of accommodation and almost half the cost, they have fast broadband as a basic requirement, they have great willing and experienced work forces ready and wanting to work, they have great transport connections and above all a very switched on group of business development officers that fully understand what they are doing and need to do to get businesses to relocate to there area.

    We don’t have that and that’s a major difference, we are over priced and sitting empty not understanding that filling business space is competitive and it’s the market that dictates the cost. We have to add on extra time for transport, extra fuel costs in mileage and driver time extra delivery costs, extra ferry costs, disruption due to weather costs.

    So no one starts up so no one finds a job so the shops and associated services don’t get cash flow to support more staff who into out there wages back into the community.

    We don’t have a team that understands modern technology, we need to attract businesses that don’t transport goods, we need to take all the extra costs out and attract hi tech start ups who can be anywhere with a work force and not needing transport for goods etc as they are not going to be able to compete with the main land central belt businesses,

    We need young people who live and work online with families that want a outdoor life style and a safe environment to bring up kids etc.

    Recently at a meeting presented by a Edinburgh based tech company the two developer / Designers who let the development of software both moved from Argyll to get work.

    What do you think are going to be the growth jobs of the future? IT or something else in Argyll? Because if we don’t do something now it’ll get a lot worse to come.

    Lots of groups set up to stop it apparently but what’s been done to date ? And that’s prob a question for Chairman of SkyB

    Sorry for the length of this but swimming against a tide is just starting to look stupid now. If people don’t say what they think then everything must be fine which its not in Argyll

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    Iain Hurrel November 5, 2015 12:54 pm Reply
  • Friday’s Scotsman has an article about combatting population decline; it has some interesting things to say.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    db November 7, 2015 1:54 am Reply

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