Covid-19 has demonstrated beyond doubt the attractiveness of living and working in rural and island communities. CoDeL’s research on redefining peripherality (see here) has identified many reasons for this, not just in Scotland, but also in regions from Canada to Finland.
Even before Covid-19 many young people wanted to return, settle or stay in their rural and island communities, and the pandemic has accelerated this trend. The pandemic has also made this so much more difficult for our young people as asset-wealthy urbanites seek to snap up housing as rural and island boltholes to escape to. This is happening across Scotland and across Britain, from Cornwall to the Scottish islands.
The Scottish Community Alliance, who featured CoDeL’s research in their latest newsletter, also feature a new campaign around housing at Planning Democracy. Iomairt an Eilean is working on the issue in Skye, and Misneachd Alba has been taking up the campaign through their Celtic Housing Charter, linking the rural housing crisis to the impacts on Gaelic culture.