Scotland’s salmon sector calls for greater investment in rural housing

editorial staff

The body representing Scotland’s salmon sector has called for greater investment in rural housing in this week’s Programme for Government.

Salmon Scotland is urging ministers to overhaul the current system so that the millions sent to Crown Estate Scotland by salmon farmers are instead ringfenced for investment in coastal areas.
House prices have risen more in the Highlands a

nd islands than across the whole of Scotland over the past two decades, raising fears that people and businesses are being forced out of the country’s most fragile communities.

Scotland’s cluttered licensing regime and rent hikes means that more than £20million-a-year is due to paid by salmon farmers to various regulators and quangos.
The millions sent from rural areas to Crown Estate Scotland in Edinburgh are currently handed to the Scottish Government and redistributed across the entire country.

Salmon Scotland is calling for around £10million of the revenue to be reinvested in rural communities, with a particular focus on housing.

This would help attract more people to come and live and work in all jobs in coastal communities, while also retaining locals to help to tackle de-population.

“The shortage of available, affordable housing in island and Highland communities is pricing people out of the housing market, and businesses are experiencing problems recruiting and retaining staff – leading to hard-to-fill vacancies, skills shortages and depopulation,” Tavish Scott, chief executive of Salmon Scotland, said.

“There is an opportunity in the Programme for Government for ministers to ensure the millions sent to quangos are put to better use by building affordable housing, ensuring the economic success generated by Scotland’s biggest food export is enjoyed by the communities where we operate,” Scott added.

SalmonBusiness has reached out to Crown Estate Scotland for comment.


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