Argyll and Bute population summit to be held next month

The Queen's Hall in Dunoon - venue for a long-awaited summit aimed at finding ways to turn around the decline in Argyll and Bute's population.
The Queen's Hall in Dunoon - venue for a long-awaited summit aimed at finding ways to turn around the decline in Argyll and Bute's population.

A summit aimed at tackling the economic problems posed by Argyll and Bute’s declining population is due - at last! - to take place next month.

Scotland’s finance minister John Swinney will be the keynote speaker at the event, to be held at the Queen’s Hall in Dunoon on Wednesday, October 29.

Attendance at the event is by invitation only, though all of Bute’s community councillors are among those to have already been invited.

The summit, organised and hosted by Argyll and Bute Council, was originally scheduled to take place in May, but it was postponed because Mr Swinney was unable to attend due to a bereavement.

The event has been organised in the wake of statistics, published in August 2013, which showed that Argyll and Bute’s population declined by 3.4 per cent - more than three thousand people - between 2001 and 2011.

The decline was even steeper on Bute itself, where the population declined by 730 people - or 10.1 per cent - during the same ten-year period.

The Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership held a series of workshops in communities throughout the area, including Rothesay, earlier this year in the hope of identifying the causes of the decline and the best way to turn it around.