Highlands village Edderton calls for new residents to halt depopulation

The residents of Edderton in the Scottish Highlands are looking for families, couples and individuals to help reinvigorate their village which has experienced some population decline over the last few decades.

Highlands village Edderton calls for new residents to halt depopulation

Edderton (Photo: Fiona Munro)

Within a short stroll from the renowned Dornoch Firth, good travel links through the nearby A9, a primary school and the home of Balblair Distillery, there are plenty of opportunities for new businesses and services to spring up. Edderton is also close to the town of Tain with its secondary school, railway station and other amenities.

Ewen Simpson, local resident and farmer, said: “We need young families, not just in Edderton, but across the Highlands. In Edderton in the 1970s, we had a post office, a shop, we even had petrol pumps outside the shop at one point, and the pub, all of which is gone now, which does take the heart out of a community. That will all change again, we’ll get there again.”

Local partnership Caledonia Forestry Ltd. has helped to facilitate and enable the project by gifting the land for community development.

The Communities Housing Trust (CHT), who work closely with communities across central and northern Scotland to provide affordable housing and other amenities, are currently conducting two Housing Needs Surveys with the support of Edderton Community Council. One survey is focused on current residents and people who live nearby, and one is for people who currently live out with the area who would like to move in.

Highlands village Edderton calls for new residents to halt depopulation

(Photo: Fiona Munro)

The development will include 5-7 affordable homes of mixed tenures, including discounted self-build plots, and the surveys will help dictate what homes and tenures are required.

Ronnie MacRae, CEO of Communities Housing Trust, added: “With land available to build affordable homes, we now need to know who would like to live here and become a part of helping this village thrive again. It’s a rare and forward-thinking opportunity to repopulate a rural area, especially with increasing options for homeworking, new business start-ups and economic diversification.”

While the community are supportive of newcomers to Edderton to help make the village thrive again, the development will also cater for any existing local need from in and around the area.

Michael Brown, local resident and chair of the Edderton Community Council, commented: “Young families and jobs are the life blood of a community. Like so many Highland villages, the Primary School has a falling role, and the local church is on the verge of closure. The Communities Housing Trust has thrown us a lifeline to our future. We have already worked with them on a recent housing project which is almost complete with the tenancy allocation awarded to two young families. We would like to welcome new people to our village, so this is great news for us, and we are so grateful to the CHT.”

If you’d like to be part of helping Edderton thrive into the future and could genuinely see yourself living in this rural village, or already live in the vicinity, please complete the Housing Needs Survey here.

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