January 14, 2015
Own it and the people will come
For any community, if its population started to show signs of decline, it would be a worry. For communities that are remote and rural, particularly the islands, a declining population can be a threat its very existence. But there is increasing evidence to show that the ‘shift’ that occurs when communities choose to own the land they live on seems to be able to reverse a declining trend. When Eigg came under community ownership the population was in steep decline. In the 18 years since, its population has increased by over 70%.
Eigg population ‘could rise above 100’
The number of islanders living on Eigg could rise above 100 in the coming year, it has been predicted.
The population has been growing since the island was brought into community ownership in 1997, after decades of problems with absentee landlords.
The island has a new ferry terminal and has seen the installation of renewable energy to power homes.
Many of the new residents are the children of families who left when the island was privately owned.