Review of Fragile Areas and Employment Action Areas in the

Review of Fragile Areas and Employment Action Areas in the

www.hie.co.uk REVIEW OF FRAGILE AREAS AND EMPLOYMENT ACTION AREAS IN THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY November 2014 0 Introduction 1. ...

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REVIEW OF FRAGILE AREAS AND EMPLOYMENT ACTION AREAS IN THE HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY November 2014

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Introduction 1. As part of its remit to sustain and develop the communities of the Highlands and Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) supports projects in a range of ‘fragile areas’ and ‘employment action areas’. • ‘Fragile areas’ are characterised by declining population, under-representation of young people within the population, lack of economic opportunities, below average income levels, problems with transport and other issues reflecting their geographic location. • ‘Employment action areas’ are characterised by a lack of employment opportunities, over-reliance on a single employer or sector, decline in jobs base through major closures or structural change and persistent long-term unemployment. 2. HIE undertakes a review of its fragile and employment action areas on a periodic basis. This Executive Summary presents the findings of the reviews undertaken in 2014. Review of Fragile Areas 3. The 2014 Fragile Area Review has followed the same methodology as the previous review undertaken in 2012. The key elements of the methodology were: • 4 ‘key indicators’ were used to measure fragility: − Percentage change in population between 2001 and 2011. − Drive-time (in minutes) to the nearest mid-sized service centre (defined as having a secondary school, NHS hospital and a large chain supermarket). − Median household income. − Average unemployment rate during 2013. • Data on these indicators has been collated and analysed for all 596 data zones within HIE’s area. • For each of these key indicators, data zones were ranked and given a score ranging between 0 and 5. In each case: − The most fragile 10% data zones were given a score of 5. − The most fragile 11-20% were given a score of 4. − The most fragile 21-30% were given a score of 3. − The most fragile 31-40% were given a score of 2. − The most fragile 41-50% were given a score of 1. − The least fragile (51-100%) were given a score of 0. • These scores were then combined. The maximum score is 20. • The scores were then examined for the 159 data zones that were considered to be ‘potentially fragile’ – i.e. are at least 20 minutes’ drive from the nearest mid-sized service centre and 40 minutes’ drive from the nearest major service centre. • Data zones with a total score of 7 or higher were identified as fragile. • The list of data zones were then discussed with HIE Area Managers as a ‘sense check’. • Finally, the revised list of data zones was discussed and agreed with the HIE Leadership Team. 4. 79 data zones have been identified as fragile in the 2014 review. • This is a slight increase on the 78 designated as fragile in 2008 review. • 12.3% of population of the Highlands and Islands live in a fragile data zone – just over 57,000 individuals. A list of the data zones defined as fragile is given in Appendix 1. 5. There are fragile data zones in all HIE Area Offices except Inner Moray Firth and Moray – but they are concentrated in: • Innse Gall (21). • Lochaber, Skye and Western Ross (21). 1



Argyll and the Islands (16).

6. All islands with a population of 300 or less, all islands off other islands and peninsulas with island characteristics have also been designated as fragile. • The population of these islands is just over 3,800. • The population of these islands increased by 6.5% between 2001 and 2011, compared to population growth of 7.5% across the Highlands and Islands as a whole. 7. Looking at key trends in fragility, the population of the data zones defined as fragile in the 2008 increased by just 0.8% between 2001 and 2011 compared to an increase of 7.5% across the Highlands and Islands as a whole. Within this: • The number of young people (aged 0-24 years) living in fragile data zones has declined by 9.3% compared to an increase of 1.9% across the Highlands and Islands as a whole. • The 25-44 years population has declined by 17.6% compared to a decline of 6.9% across the Highlands and Islands as a whole These are highly concerning trends. 8. Between 2005 and 2013, proportion of population in the 2008 fragile areas that were unemployed has declined (from 2.6% to 2.2%), in contrast to increases at the Highlands and Islands (from 2.1% to 2.3%) and Scotland (from 2.7% to 3.7%) levels. This may reflect: • Better economic performance of these localities; or • Individuals choosing to leave the area to look for work elsewhere. Review of Employment Action Areas 9. The criteria for being classified as an employment action area are: • An over-reliance on a single employer or single sector. • Having experienced or at risk of significant job losses resulting from major closures. • Persistent long-term unemployment caused by structural change. 10. In relation to the review of employment action areas: • Key economic data has been reviewed for the three current employment action areas (Caithness, Moray and Argyll). • Key economic, demographic and skills data has been examined for the 20 key settlements in the Highlands and Islands to assess whether any additional areas should be designated as employment action areas. • The research team discussed with HIE Area Office managers the key employment issues facing their areas and whether they felt that any additional areas should be considered in need of ‘employment action’. 11. The three current employment action areas continue to face significant employment issues and it is recommended that HIE continues to work with partners through the Caithness and North Sutherland Partnership, Moray 2020 and Kintyre Initiative to support these areas to diversify their economies.

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12. Looking at the other settlements: • Lochgilphead, Dingwall, Dunoon and Stornoway are the settlements most dependent on large employers. • Unemployment is high at over 4% in Dunoon, Portree, Invergordon/Alness and Lochgilphead. • With the exception of Portree, all of these areas also have high levels of their working age population claiming out-of-work benefits. • Unemployment has increased by over 40% in the last 8 years in Portree, Lochgilphead, Dunoon, Fort William and Oban. 13. Combined, this suggests that there should be a continued focus on the 3 current employment action areas and: • That the scope of the Argyll employment action area should be broadened to encompass Dunoon and the surrounding area (Cowal South) in addition to the existing areas of South Kintyre (centred around Campbeltown) and Bute (centred around Rothesay). This recommendation has been agreed by the HIE Leadership Team. • HIE Leadership Team has agreed to keep a watching brief on Lochgilphead and Invergordon/Alness settlements given the challenges they currently face. Recommendations for Future Reviews 14. Wherever possible, it is important for there to be consistency in the methodology used to identify fragile area and employment action areas, as this allows comparisons to be made over time. 15. Whilst consistency is important, it is also important to revisit on a regular basis whether or not the methodology is fully capturing the key aspects of ‘fragility’ and/or ‘employment action’. In particular, as broadband becomes increasingly seen as the norm, lack of access to broadband will be a significant contributor to fragility. At the current time, there is no indicator that captures this at the data zone level and HIE should consider how to best capture this in future reviews.

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Appendix 1: List of Fragile Data Zones Area office

Data zone

Data zone name

Fragility score

Argyll & the Islands (16)

S01000722

Port Ellen

13

S01000723

South Islay

10

S01000724

Bowmore

12

S01000726

Rinns of Islay

8

S01000740

Tighnabruaich and Kames

14

S01000755

North Islay, Jura and Colonsay

13

S01000763

North Knapdale

8

S01000787

East Loch Fyne, Glendaruel and Colintraive

7

S01000800

Loch Goil and Loch Eck

11

S01000809

Ross of Mull and Iona

7

S01000820

South Mull

9

S01000830

North Mull, Ulva and Gometra

6

S01000831

Coll and Tiree

10

S01000832

Tobermory

8

S01004503

Cumbrae Millport

19

S01004508

Cumbrae North

12

Caithness & Sutherland

S01003959

Rosehall

7

(11)

S01003966

Lairg

13

S01003967

Lochinver and Elphin

11

S01003968

Helmsdale and Kinbrace

14

S01003969

Dunbeath

10

S01003970

Stoer and Scourie

9

S01003971

Lybster

8

S01003973

Kinlochbervie and Achfary

12

S01003974

Tongue, Bettyhill and Altnaharra

7

S01003988

Melvich

10

S01003990

Durness

13

S01002339

Vatersay to Castlebay

15

S01002340

North Barra

11

S01002341

Eriskay to South Boisdale

13

S01002342

Loch Boisdale

13

S01002343

Loch Eynort to Iochdar

10

S01002344

South Benbecula

8

S01002345

North Benbecula to Grimsay

7

Innse Gall (21)

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Area office

Data zone

Data zone name

Fragility score

S01002346

East North Uist to Berneray

13

S01002347

West North Uist to Baleshare

7

S01002348

South Harris

13

S01002349

North Harris and Scalpay

15

S01002350

Pairc and Kinloch

15

S01002351

Uig and Bernera

10

S01002352

North Lochs

7

S01002358

Loch Roag

16

S01002369

Carloway to Shawbost

10

S01002370

Bragar to Bru

13

S01002371

Gress to Tolsta

5

S01002372

Barvas to Borve

14

S01002373

Galson to Swainbost

8

S01002374

Habost to Port of Ness

7

Lochaber, Skye &

S01003720

Ardgour, Sunart and Morvern

5

Wester Ross (21)

S01003728

Moidart

8

S01003739

Ardnamurchan and Small Isles

10

S01003745

Mallaig

9

S01003746

Arisaig, Morar and Knoydart

7

S01003757

Glenshiel and Glenelg

10

S01003765

Kyle of Lochalsh

18

S01003773

Balmacara and Dornie

7

S01003841

Duirinish

11

S01003846

Lochcarron

11

S01003869

Applecross, Shieldaig and Torridon

9

S01003871

Dunvegan and Waternish

12

S01003911

Skye North East

7

S01003914

Uig

7

S01003933

Poolewe and Badachro

7

S01003946

Gairloch

8

S01003948

Ullapool Rural and Dundonnell

5

S01003953

Aultbea

11

S01003955

Ullapool South

10

S01003956

Ullapool North

7

S01003963

Achiltibuie

10

S01004968

Rousay, Egilsay, Shapinsay and Wyre

10

S01004969

North Ronaldsay, Sanday and Stronsay

12

Innse Gall (cont.)

Orkney (5)

5

Area office

Orkney (cont.)

Shetland (5)

Data zone

Data zone name

Fragility score

S01004970

Eday, Westray and Papay

9

S01004971

Hoy, Flotta, S Walls and South Ronaldsay

8

S01004972

Burray and St. Margaret Hope

5

S01005515

Symbister (Whalsay)

7

S01005516

Whalsay and Skerries (excl. Symbister)

5

S01005519

North Northmaven

9

S01005520

Yell

8

S01005521

Unst and Fetlar

15

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