Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Standard of living more costly in rural Scotland

30th November 2016

The level of income required to afford a socially acceptable standard of living and to participate in society is ten to thirty per cent more expensive in remote rural Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.

The report on Minimum Income Standard for Remote Rural Scotland 2016, published today (Wednesday 30 November), was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Enterprise (SE), the Rural and Islands Housing Association Forum (RIHAF) and the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA).

It shows the gap between rural and urban areas has reduced slightly, from between ten and forty per cent, since the previous report in 2013.

Falling energy costs have to some extent eased the burden recently. In the longer term, developments such as the extension of broadband access and new delivery networks have the potential to change the way people live and the costs they incur.

The new study highlights the importance of collaboration between public sector organisations and lists a number of important issues, such as heating and transport costs, at which public sector intervention could be targeted to useful effect.

Capitalising on broadband roll-out to create more high-paying jobs can potentially help make rural communities more attractive places to live and work, and boost their long-term resilience.

Ensuring the workforce has adequate access to training and development opportunities and wider support services such as childcare can also help.

Fergus Ewing Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity said: "I welcome this latest Minimum Income Standard Report and note the positive impact that lower diesel and petrol prices has had on those who have to travel long distances. The Scottish Government is already doing much to support rural communities through transport initiatives and Rural Fuel Poverty measures, and we will continue to work with rural communities to identify the best solutions to rural challenges."

Alastair Nicolson, head of planning and partnerships at HIE, said: "That the cost of living is higher in remote rural Scotland will be no surprise to the people who live in these communities. A great deal of public policy is already targeted at reducing that disparity to ensure equality of opportunities in all parts of the country. The roll out of fibre broadband well beyond where the market would reach is one recent example of action in this area.

"This report does however show that a number of factors still conspire to make the cost of living at a socially acceptable standard more expensive in more remote areas, particularly small islands. While a number of interventions being progressed currently will make an impact, further work is required from the public sector to mitigate the excessive costs associated with living in these parts of the country. We will be working with the Scottish Government and other public sector partners to ensure the full implications from this research are understood and used to help inform planning and priorities across a range of policy areas."

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

Cabinet secretary stresses role of public sector in supporting NC500Thumbnail for article : Cabinet secretary stresses role of public sector in supporting NC500
The successful North Coast 500 tourist route will need strong co-ordinated support from the public sector to ensure its long term sustainability.   Experiences of the initiative should also be shared with groups around the country looking to develop similar projects.  
Study Shows North Coast 500 Route Added £9million Extra SpendingThumbnail for article : Study Shows North Coast 500 Route Added £9million Extra Spending
The North Coast 500 (NC500) tourist route, launched in 2015, has had a positive impact on both visitor numbers and business trade.   This is according to a new report commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).  
Hie Infrastrucuture InvestmentsThumbnail for article : Hie Infrastrucuture Investments
Short film highlighting infrastructure investments made across the Highlands and Islands and the impacts these investments are having across the energy sector..  
Highlands And Island Enterprise Appoints Chief ExecutiveThumbnail for article : Highlands And Island Enterprise Appoints Chief Executive
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new chief executive.  Charlotte Wright, who is currently the agency's Director of Business and Sector Development, has held the role of Interim Chief Executive since the end of August last year.  
Rural Broadband Roll-Out in Highlands and Islands Reaching FurtherThumbnail for article : Rural Broadband Roll-Out in Highlands and Islands Reaching Further
More than 160,000 homes and businesses in the Highlands and Islands are now part of the high speed fibre broadband network, thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) roll-out.   Residents in more than 230 Highlands and Islands towns and villages can access the benefits of high speed services following the £146m investment in a next generation broadband network for the region.  
HIE appoints new finance directorThumbnail for article : HIE appoints new finance director
Economic and community development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of finance and corporate services.   Nick Kenton joins HIE on 4 July from NHS Highland.  
HIE appoints new energy directorThumbnail for article : HIE appoints new energy director
Economic and community development agency, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has appointed a new director of energy and low carbon.   Audrey MacIver of Alness in Easter Ross starts in the post today (Thursday 1 June).  
HIE reports on year-end resultsThumbnail for article : HIE reports on year-end results
Figures compiled by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) show that businesses and communities supported by the development agency achieved a strong performance in 2016/17 despite uncertain economic conditions.   Investments by HIE during the year supported businesses and social enterprises across the region to create or retain 1,688 full time equivalent jobs in the region, 169 of these in fragile areas.  
Aquaculture supply chain £1m innovation fund openThumbnail for article : Aquaculture supply chain £1m innovation fund open
Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) working in the aquaculture supply chain in the Highlands and Islands can now apply to a £1 million innovation fund, which has opened for applications.   Announced in March the 30-month pilot programme, Accelerating Aquaculture Innovation (AAI), is led by HIE, and delivered in partnership with Scottish Aquaculture Innovation Centre (SAIC).  
Firms invited to register interest in international aquaculture show
Businesses across Scotland engaged in the aquaculture sector are being encouraged to register their interest in attending a major international trade event in Norway by 21 April.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is leading the Scottish delegation, in partnership with Scottish Development International (SDI), to create the first Scottish Pavilion at the Aqua Nor technology trade exhibition in Trondheim in August.  

[Printer Friendly Version]