Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross covers much of the West Highlands, an area which includes some of Scotland's most stunning scenery.
The population of Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross has shown steady, sometimes spectacular growth over the last 30 years, although many smaller rural communities have lost population to the larger centres.
Much of the overall increase has been fuelled by immigration, particularly people retiring to the area. Many young people continue to leave in pursuit of tertiary education.
Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross is the area in Scotland which sends the highest percentage of its school students to university. While this is a tribute to a well-educated population, it also highlights the lack of opportunity for vocational training in the area, and the narrowness of the local economic base.Show more
The result is a skewed demographic chart with a 'missing generation' of young people, and a population older than the Highlands and Islands average. The population overall is widely dispersed, with many living in remote scattered communities where population density is among the lowest on the country.
The figures present two important challenges. First, of all the areas in the Highlands and Islands, Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross has the highest number of its overall population and businesses living in fragile areas. Second, it reinforces the importance of the educational sector, whether this be the establishment of the West Highland College or the achievement of full university status by UHI, the prospective University of the Highlands and Islands.Show less
Highland Activities started life with two enthusiasts working out of a shed in a field in Lochaber. It now boasts centres in three different locations, a sales office, 16 permanent staff and ambitious plans on how it can continue to grow.
UK’s largest sawmill doubles growth in Fort William.
A local community group have opened the state of the art GALE Centre at Achtercairn in Gairloch which will provide a range of facilities for both visitors and locals.
Scotland’s largest community broadband network, which was developed by local people to bring better connections to some of Lochaber’s hardest to reach broadband spots, is expanding.
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.
Professor Lorne Crerar has been reappointed Chair of the Board of HIE until February 2020.
A community run marina on the Morvern peninsula is welcoming more visitors this year than ever before.
The North Coast 500 (NC500) tourist route, launched in 2015, has had a positive impact on both visitor numbers and business trade.
Mallaig's new yachting facility, which can provide berths for up to 48 yachts, was part funded under the Sail West project and co-financed by Mallaig Harbour Authority, HIE and The Highland Council.
Every morning between 7.30am and 9.00am the inhabitants of Skye and Lochalsh can wake up to breakfast with community radio station Cuillin FM.