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2 May 2023 |

Unlocking Social & Economic Growth Potential for the Outer Hebrides

SCDI brought together members and guests for a recent strategic engagement event in Stornoway which informed thinking and collaboration towards addressing the key regional challenges and opportunities with the aim to unlock the full social and economic growth potential for the Outer Hebrides.

Senior leaders heard from expert speakers during panel discussions with the key themes of discussion including:

  • Skills and talent attraction/housing challenges are interlinked and with the size of opportunities ahead for the wider region repopulation strategies and innovative housing solution will be key.
  • Scotland is a difficult place to invest and the system needs change – legislation and regulatory change is needed.
  • A focus on infrastructure –  roads and ferry networks need to be upgraded and futureproofed, electricity networks need to be in place to deliver on the demands for net zero ambitions, digital and mobile connectivity rolled out faster, deep water ports need to be in place and supported to create the local capability for development.
  • Community wealth building for all of Scotland needs to be at the heart of delivery on all of these opportunities – where is the national delivery plan that weaves all this together and how is this created to best effect delivery through innovative, collaborative thinking.
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Grant Campbell is Prosper’s Regional Director, Highlands & Islands

Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Isle of Lewis

Grant Campbell, SCDI’s Regional Manager, Highlands and Islands said:

There is a wealth of opportunity for these islands and the wider Highlands, however the full potential will only be achieved through collaboration. With many well documented challenges on transport, de-population and fuel poverty, SCDIs unique convening power will continue to unite members voices towards addressing these issues.”

By aligning members in the private sector’s investment in major projects and industry with the public sector and wider civic society , we can continue to drive thinking to both Scottish and UK Governments on what is needed to create a strong economies for the people and places in the Highlands and Islands.

We will now work with our members to shape action which can be reflected our regional and national policy work, events programme, Productivity Clubs & Young Engineers & Science Clubs Scotland (YESC).