Social Enterprise Helping Increasing the Population of Fetlar

Posted: 08 June 2010, in Press Release

By BBC News online

The population of a small Shetland island has soared after the first year of a regeneration project, it has been revealed.

Inhabitants of Fetlar have risen from 48 to 70 – an increase of 45%. The aim is to reach 100 within the next nine years.

The increase has been attributed to factors including people moving in for work and young islanders returning.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) welcomed the news.

A social enterprise set up to focus on regeneration, Fetlar Development Ltd (FDL), is pursuing a range of projects to regenerate the island.

‘Increased vigour’

Current plans include developing housing and renewable energy potential on the island, as well as running a cafe.

FDL development officer Robert Thomson said: “The success of population growth to date has certainly inspired us to continue to develop our regeneration projects with increased vigour.

“The whole community has a much improved outlook and it is possible that the island can once again become a thriving community with more ability to meet challenges which no doubt face it in the future.”

Willy Roe, chairman of HIE, said: “Sustaining our more fragile communities is a vital part of what Highlands and Islands Enterprise does, and achieving economic progress in the fragile areas of Shetland is one of our core ambitions.”