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Sutherland County Committee Backs "north West 2045 Our Future Our Choice"

16th August 2021

At today's Sutherland County Committee meeting, it was agreed to adopt the development of a long-term vision for north west Highland - "North West 2045 Our Future Our Choice".

Started in Autumn 2020, the North West 2045 (NW2045) project was formed by a diverse group of local organisations and has the following objectives.:

Co-create a community-led, long-term vision for the future of north west Highland to 2045 through a wide engagement process that allows the collective community voice to be heard externally.
Develop a platform for the community voice to shape opportunities now and in the future.
Establish a partnership approach with decision-makers in local and national government, private industry and key agencies to inform and explore place-based solutions and opportunities for development in the area.

Cllr Richard Gale, Chair of the Sutherland County Committee, said, “North West 2045 Our Future Our Choice has the potential to give the communities in north west Highland a greater voice in shaping a world class environment which they help to manage and control.

"The high level of response from our community through the project’s interviews, workshops and survey has been excellent. An initiative such as this is much needed and I welcome the proposals highlighted in this vision of the area’s future.”

The vision includes a timeline which identifies six priority areas for action over the next five years:

1. Develop affordable local housing solutions
2. Explore local infrastructure and broadband solutions
3. Develop the case for multi-use hubs
4. Scope a local food strategy
5. Develop approaches to land management including through Regional Land Use Partnership
6. Invest in community resilience and voice.

The vision aims to be a living document, constantly reviewed and amended so it remains relevant throughout the period to 2045.

The date 2045 was selected for the vision to reflect the Scottish Government target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2045. The project aims to address the challenges of the north west – including an ageing and declining population, and issues around access to services, housing, employment, training, education as well as poverty exacerbated by higher prices for everyday items such as food and fuel – by creating vibrant and sustainable communities with stable populations ready to meet the opportunities emerging from the 2045 agenda presented by the rich natural resources of the north west.

For more information about the North West 2045 project, visit (external link).