Tam's Tall Tales

- Go North Young Man

Panorama of Inverness © "Avarim" via Wikimedia Commons

Go North Young Man
For years the Highlands might have glorious scenery, but for years not many people wanted to move there. This might be changing as more young people look set to make lives for themselves in the north of Scotland.

After decades of concerns that communities are being weakened as young adults move to big cities, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has found that more are making their homes in the region. Granting Inverness "city" status in 2000 seems to have had the hoped for effect as its population has risen ever since and Inverness is now one of Europe's fastest growing cities. In 1991 the population of the greater Inverness area was 44,900 and in 2013 it had soared to 67,230.

Greater opportunities, higher quality of life and strong community links were some of the reasons that more than half of those who took part in the survey said that the Highlands was a better place to live than it was five years ago.

About half of 4,409 people aged between 15 and 30 questioned thought the situation would be even better in the next five years - and nearly half said they planned to stay long term.

Carroll Buxton, HIE's director for regional development, said: "The Highlands and Islands is increasingly well placed to counter out-migration and attract and retain more young people in the long term.

"We need to continue to create more opportunities in both education and employment. We are working with universities to expand the provision of undergraduate courses linked to regional career opportunities in growth sectors such as life sciences, creative industries, energy and food and drink. We are supporting high-growth businesses and social enterprises to invest in young people. We are also promoting collaboration between universities and businesses to create more opportunities.

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Tam O'Ranter

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