The Scottish islands are often regarded as places where the population is in decline, with younger islanders leaving for education and employment and older people moving in to retire. However, recent anecdotal evidence suggests that, on some islands at least, the tide may be turning, with young people increasingly choosing to stay, return or relocate to island homes. It is crucial that policy is informed by these green shoots of recovery in order to respond effectively to opportunities and challenges for island renewal.

The Islands Revival project is collecting stories of population turnaround in order to raise the profile of demographic recovery in island settings, and to identify ways of ensuring that such developments are supported by island policy. During the spring and summer of 2019, we are inviting groups from across the Scottish islands to contribute examples from their own communities, to be published on the Islands Revival blog. These contributions will inform a workshop at the end of August, which will facilitate discussion between communities, local and Scottish Government, island businesses and international experts, culminating in a Workshop Declaration with recommendations regarding how policy can best support island repopulation.

The project is supported by the Scottish Government-funded SEFARI Responsive Opportunity Initiative and led by the James Hutton Institute and SRUC.

Note that the views expressed in the posts on this blog are those of the contributors, and do not necessarily represent those of the James Hutton Institute, SRUC, or SEFARI.