Uist Beò Feasibility Study


CoDeL has been busy working on a feasibility study for a new online platform – Uist Beò. Community consultations have been going well with over 200 responses to our survey on what individuals would like to see from the platform. A business survey is also underway and has had close to 40 responses from a variety of businesses and social enterprises across the islands. 

Our digital designer has come up with a striking and unique brand concept and social media for the platform is soon to be launched. In the meantime our community engagement officer has put together a brief video introducing the project. 

VSRP21 Youth Session – March 6th 2021

This free, virtual session is an opportunity for rural and island young people aged 16-25 to collectively reimagine the future of their communities. Facilitated by the Social Enterprise Academy, the fully interactive session will also provide an opportunity for young people to question decision makers such as Maree Todd, Minister for Children and Young People and Bruce Adamson, The Children and Young People’s Commissioner. The outputs of the session will contribute to other sessions of the Scottish Rural Parliament and help to influence rural policy.

To attend, register for the Scottish Rural Parliament and select the Youth Session when asked.

Registration link: https://www.srp2021.scot

Scottish Rural Parliament 2021

The Scottish Rural Parliament is a grassroots democratic assembly, bringing together people who live and work in rural and island Scotland with decision makers and influencers to explore current thinking and identify actions that will shape the future of rural communities. 

Scottish Rural Parliament 2021 will be held over five days between March  6th and 18th. In sessions that will be open to everyone who would like to register, panels will look at a wide variety of issues that deeply affect rural Scottish lives – from local democracy and land use to digital communications and climate change. Through conversation and the sharing of stories these sessions will explore what needs to be done so that rural communities are thriving and their natural environment is safeguarded.  

A member of the European-wide network of Rural Parliaments, the Scottish Rural Parliament takes place every two years. Responding to the pandemic reality, the 2021 Virtual SRP (2021vSRP) will take place online on a platform which is easy to access if you have a mobile phone, tablet or laptop and an internet connection. This year the Scottish Rural Action is partnering with the Scottish Islands Federation and Scottish Rural Network and the outcomes of the parliament will form the basis of an updated Manifesto for Rural and Island Scotland.

The programme can be seen in full here and we will be looking at the individual sessions in greater detail over the coming weeks.

Rural Housing Summit

Rural Housing Scotland’s 2021 Rural Housing Summit is well underway online, sharing stories from rural communities working to tackle housing need in their area through a mix of panel discussions, interactive workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions with various experts in the field. 

Upcoming sessions include funding routes for community-led housing, the quiet rise of rural homelessness and building cultural and economic capacity.

Thursday’s key note speaker Dr Annie McKee of The James Hutton Institute and Rural Housing Scotland Convenor, provides the opportunity to look at the impact of land reform in Scotland and the challenges communities still face.

On Friday, delegates will hear from Scottish Rural Housing’s Derek Logie about the key role rural housing enablers play in efforts to tackle housing need and about plans SRH are developing to combine traditional models and modern technology to repopulate rural areas.  Further sessions on Friday will look at rural re-population, rethinking rural and building cultural and economic capacity and speakers on the Rethinking Rural panel discussion will include North Uist architect – Alex Durie. One-to-one appointments with a Rural Housing Enabler will also be available on Friday afternoon. 

The complete programme for the week can be found here and bookings are still open for sessions from Thursday afternoon onward. 

Uist Beò – Online Platform Survey











CoDeL are excited to be working on a feasibility study to provide a new online platform that will serve the Uist community, from Eriskay to Berneray, locally and beyond.

As part of the study we are consulting widely within the community to find out what residents and visitors alike would like to see from a new website – be that business listings, links to local services or stories about the residents of the islands. 

Please take part in our brief online survey to share your views on the potential for this exciting new platform and take a chance to have your say. 




Progress on our NPA funded project on the economic impacts of Covid-19

CoDeL is delighted to be leading on the economic impacts project. 

Reports are now coming in from across the Northern Periphery and Arctic region on a wide range of relevant research and data from Canada to Finland, and including Ireland and Scotland.

Reports include analyses of comparative economic data from across the region; a look at the impact of Covid-19 on health systems in two small hospital districts in Finland; detailing the response to the pandemic by entrepreneurs in Greenland, Iceland and the Faroes; research on the impacts of Covid-19 across Atlantic Canada, the Nordic countries and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; and human rights case studies looking at the tension between health and economic outcomes.

One of the key themes emerging is around resilience and adaptability to crises and how these factors may match with protective factors for better health outcomes. 

To what extent do characteristics of remote and peripheral areas help localities and regions in meeting the challenges of Covid-19 and other crises? 

And do we need to redefine peripherality, which has often been framed as a disadvantage, but has been seen to prove otherwise during the pandemic?

We look forward to drawing together the analysis and insights from all these projects during February of this year.

Visioning Healthy Rural Communities



A new online programme from The Social Enterprise Academy, Visioning Healthy Rural Communities, is inviting people from across the north of Scotland, including our islands, to unite around visions of positive change in health and social care within community settings.  

Do you want to be part of creating positive visions for health and social care, be inspired by other rural and island communities, and help shape the debates in your own community?

The Visioning Healthy Rural Communities programme begins on Thursday 11th February from 1-3pm.  You can register here, or contact dan@socialenterprise.academy.

Register now to ensure a place on this programme which is already booking up fast!

Uist was recognised as a Social Enterprise Place at an event yesterday

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Uist was congratulated yesterday by Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell on its recognition as a Social Enterprise Place. 

Alongside Lewis and Govan, Uist received the award at an event that was hosted by Social Enterprise Scotland on January 21st and attended by over 60 people from across the country.  A presentation on the importance of social enterprise to the island was made on behalf of Uist by Thomas Fisher and can be seen here

Parliamentary Motion on Uist and Lewis as Social Enterprise Places

Alasdair Allan, MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar (the Outer Hebrides) has sent …
“Congratulations to the social enterprise community in Uist and Lewis for the work you’ve done to become the first areas within this new scheme.
I have marked this with a motion lodged in the Scottish Parliament highlighting the vital contribution which social enterprises make to Na h-Eileanan an Iar: https://beta.parliament.scot/chamber-and-committees/votes-and-motions/votes-and-motions-search/S5M-23873

Motion ref. S5M-23873
Uist and Lewis Recognised as Social Enterprise Places
Submitted by: Alasdair Allan, Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Friday, January 15, 2021
Supported by: Annabelle Ewing, Kenneth Gibson, Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, Stuart McMillan, Gil Paterson, Stewart Stevenson

That the Parliament congratulates Uist and Lewis on being recognised as the first communities within the Social Enterprise Places Scotland scheme; notes that Social Enterprise Places are local areas where social enterprise activity is thriving; understands that the programme was launched in November 2019 and aims to promote, raise awareness and build markets for social enterprises; further understands that Scottish islands have the highest densities of social enterprises per capita in Scotland and generate 10% of all jobs for people under 40 in island areas; notes that social enterprises, which reinvest their profits to create positive change, provide vital services and infrastructure contributing to public life, particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and wishes social enterprise continued success during, and beyond, these challenging times.

Leis gach deagh dhùrachd

Alasdair Allan
MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar
01851 700357
20 Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2DR
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