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Highlands and Islands communities feature in international conference

Published: 31/05/2019

Five communities from Shetland, Orkney, Skye and Sutherland were in the spotlight at an international community development conference this week.

Short films about the impact of Northmavine Community Development Company (NCDC), Sandwick Social and Economic Development, Minginish Community Hall Association, Westray Development Trust and Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust’s work on local community life was showcased to the 270 delegates at the Strengthening Communities Conference Scotland ‘19 in Aviemore.

The event, organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), attracted community groups and organisations from Nova Scotia, Maine, Norway and across the UK to look at the key issues for communities leading the way on their own social and economic futures.

Douglas Cowan, Director of Strengthening Communities at HIE, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to look in depth at the social and economic benefits and challenges of living in a rural community. There were remarkable similarities even across international communities – with people looking at how to retain and attract young people, and how to provide infrastructure, services and opportunities for all.

“The films from communities like these are great examples of local people taking the lead in this and the vital role they can have in attracting new investment and income streams to benefit their communities.”

The theme of the conference, held on Monday and Tuesday, was ‘Ionnsachadh is fàs le chèile’, 'Learning and Growing Together'. It was supported by the Scottish Government, South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership, Scottish Enterprise, SSE and Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA).

See the films here:




Kyle of Sutherland 



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