Scotland’s revitalising of its ‘remote parts’ after two centuries of ethnic cleansing is admired across Europe

In the case of HIE, the work of these agents on the territory of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland has achieved that the levels of entrepreneurship in this area are above the average of the United Kingdom. (17)

http://sspa-network.eu/wp-content/uploads/HIE-SSPA-Report-complete-document-1.pdf

If HIE has secretly sold off its assets at Cairngorm that really would be a public scandal, but this appears just another example of HIE incompetence. 

http://parkswatchscotland.co.uk/2018/09/07/hies-cover-up-at-cairngorm-and-the-re-birth-of-natural-retreats-uk-ltd/

Much still needs to be done regarding, for example, land ownership and the debilitating grouse estates, but Scotland’s achievement in improving the lives of those living in our highlands and islands gets little and often negative media coverage. In particular, Highlands and Island Enterprise has been given a less than wonderful image in the Scottish media. The Herald did give us the above headline, but they were quite alone as the others ignored what is a real good news story worth celebrating.

The opening quote from a research report first delivered in 2017 is indicative of the praise for HIE in a document, Successfully Combatting Rural Depopulation Through A New Model of Rural Development: The Highlands And Islands Enterprise Experience, where ‘Scotland’ or ‘Scottish’ appears 78 times. Here are some of the best:

The result of this autonomous and flexible conception is right in front of our eyes: the HIE agency has been successful -the success we are looking for in our declining rural areas- and the Highlands and the Scottish Islands have recovered from their economic and demographic deterioration. Today, after more than fifty years of effort, adaptation, learning and perseverance, its inhabitants look ahead with optimism. (10)

In the case of HIE, the work of these agents on the territory of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland has achieved that the levels of entrepreneurship in this area are above the average of the United Kingdom. (17)

Regarding the difference between applying or not applying this type of criteria and controls, it is enough to cite an example: considering the population of the Highlands and Islands -466,000 hab., the 94.4 million Euros of the budget of HIE for 2017 suppose an expense of 202 € per person and year. For its part, the 60 million of the Teruel Investment Fund -FITE- represent an investment of € 441 per person per year. If we compare the results obtained in both territories in terms of population –brilliant in the Scottish case, whose population has not stopped growing since the first year of HIE activity. (20)

Notably, the report traces the roots of the problems faced in the HIE area to the 18th Century:

To the environmental conditions, they must be added the political processes inherited from the defeat suffered by the Jacobite clans of northern Scotland in their uprising against the British Crown, back in the second half of the eighteenth century. After the end of the revolt, there was a substantial change in land tenure in much of northern Scotland (Highland Clearances), leaving more than 80% of the land area in the hands of a small number of landowners who, almost immediately, replaced the local agriculture with large extensions of sheep, relegating the previous owners to work as sharecroppers or “crofters”. The result was that hundreds of thousands of Scots were forced to emigrate to the thriving urban centres of Edinburgh, Glasgow or London -immersed at that time in the midst of social and economic transformation resulting from the incursion of the first Industrial Revolution-, damaging the demographic structure of the Highlands and generating consequences that are still visible almost 250 years later.

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