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More needs to be done to attract people to come and live in the Highlands, according to MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch Kate Forbes.
The appeal follows publication of the latest National Records of Scotland population statistics which, despite showing a projection over the next decade for the population of the region to increase by 0.4 per cent, Lochaber is expected to suffer a 2.8 per cent decrease.
Skye and Lochalsh is projected to see a 0.9 per cent increase overall with the biggest increase being Inverness, where the population is predicted to rise by 4.5 per cent.
Ms Forbes has long campaigned for measures to combat rural depopulation and told the Lochaber Times: ‘Population retention is one of the most present issues facing parts of the Highlands.
‘These figures suggest that whilst there has been growth in some areas, such as Skye and Lochalsh, which is welcome, there has also been falls in population numbers elsewhere like Lochaber.
‘We need sustainable growth in our population to ensure schools stay open, local businesses have custom and we can provide key services across the Highlands.
‘More needs to be done to attract people – particularly young families.’
NO F35 KATE FORBES 02