Uist Repopulation Zone Consultation Events

The Uist Repopulation Zone Working Group are keen to understand the local communities’ views of the related Draft Action Plan to identify any gaps, priorities, needs and wants.

Accordingly, a series of consultations will take place between the 6th - 9th February 2023 throughout Uist to engage with the community, businesses and stakeholders to assist in shaping actions needed to encourage people to stay in Uist or move to the islands.  Comhairle nan Eilean Siar would urge as many as possible to take part in the consultations, either online or in-person (or both), to ensure all views are gathered and identified.

In late 2020 the Convention of the Highlands and Islands was presented a report on population and fragile communities which identified - along with Caithness, Argyll and Bute and North Ayrshire - that the Outer Hebrides was an area of acute challenge.  Consequently, along with the other three local authorities, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Government sought to explore options and approaches around population issues and began articulating ideas and actions around the concept of “Repopulation Zones”.  After analysis and assessment, Uist was identified as the initial Repopulation Zone pilot in the Outer Hebrides.

Local partners have been collaborating to support both short and long term actions to reverse the decline.  In the Outer Hebrides declining population levels mean fewer people to deliver key services or to meet gaps in the workforce.   On the other hand a lack of affordable housing, and infrastructure, will also hinder people in moving to or staying in the community.

Whilst short term initiatives will support the community immediately, it is the longer term measures that also need to be addressed and tackled now to benefit in the future.  The Uist Repopulation Action Zone Draft Plan has been developed to enable priorities to be set to deliver these sustainable outcomes at a local level and can be found on the Uist Repopulation webpage.

Councillor Paul Steele, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said

"This is a great opportunity for the people of Uist to share their ideas on the different ways we can encourage people to stay or move to the islands.  It’s a topic we’ve discussed for a number of years and there are some excellent suggestions from within the community.  Please come along to the events and share your thoughts so that the Action Plan has the best chance of achieving positive outcomes that will help address our demographic and repopulation challenges."

You are invited to come along and make your views known at either of the following:

  • Monday 6th February (6:30pm - 8:00pm) -  Balivanich Hall
  • Tuesday 7th February (2:00pm - 3.30 pm) - Carinish Hall
  • Tuesday 7th February (6.30pm - 8:00pm) - Lochmaddy Hall
  • Wednesday 8th February (6.30pm -8:00pm) - Southend Hall
  • Thursday 9th February (2:00pm - 3.30pm) -  Iochdar Hall

Please also complete the following survey: