HRH Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021 Read more

Publication - Progress report

Socio-economic Baseline Review for Offshore Renewables in Scottish Waters Volume 1: Main Text

Published: 10 Dec 2012
Part of:
Marine and fisheries
ISBN:
9781782561989

The Review contains a national and six regional socio-economic baseline reviews that

can be used to inform impact assessments for future sectoral plans for offshore wind, wave and

tidal development.

329 page PDF

3.6 MB

329 page PDF

3.6 MB

Contents
Socio-economic Baseline Review for Offshore Renewables in Scottish Waters Volume 1: Main Text
5. North West Region

329 page PDF

3.6 MB

5. North West Region

5.1 Introduction

The regional overview for each marine use present within the North West SORER is detailed within this section. These sub-sections, which are arranged in alpaetical order of activity, provide information in a uniformed manner under the following headings:

  • Regional Activity;
  • Regional Economic Value and Employment; and
  • Future Trends.

The activities present within the North West Region are given in Table 117 below.

Table 117. Activities present within the North West SORER

Activity Present in North West SORER Regional Trends Available Future Trends Available
Yes No Yes No Yes No
Aquaculture
Aviation
Carbon Capture and Storage
Coast Protection and Flood Defence
Commercial Fisheries
Energy Generation
Military Interests
Oil and Gas
Ports and Harbours
Power Interconnectors
Recreational Boating
Shipping
Social and Community
Telecom Cables
Tourism
Waste Disposal
Water Sports

5.2 Aquaculture

5.2.1 Regional Activity

Marine aquaculture sites within the North West Region are shown in Figure 90. There are 99 finfish and 59 shellfish sites. The figure reveals that aquaculture sites are widespread along the coastline within this region, in particular around the coasts of North and South Uist, the Isle of Harris, Isle of Lewis, and Isle of Skye as well as within the sheltered lochs of the mainland North West coast.

5.2.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

Regional employment figures for activities relating to marine aquaculture in the North West are listed below in Table 118. Employment figures for this sector are highest within this region.

Table 118. North West employment figures for activities relating to marine aquaculture

SIC, 2007 Full-time Employees Part-time Employees
2009 2010 2009 2009
Marine aquaculture ( SIC 03210) 333 322 34 93

(Source: ONS, 2011)

5.2.3 Future Trends

No regional detail on future trends were available, please refer to Section 2.2.3 for national projections.

5.3 Aviation

5.3.1 Regional Activity

Airports in this region include the 'minor' airports of Barra, Benbecula and Stornoway, all located in the Outer Hebrides, see Figure 3. The number of ATMs, passengers (terminal and transit) and freight movements at each airport are shown in Table 119.

Table 119. Summary of activity at Scottish airports in the North West Region

Area ATMs Terminal Passengers Transit Passengers Freight (tonnes)
Barra 1,199 10,182 4 30
Benbecula 4,292 32,692 333 224
Stornoway 9,484 122,475 724 475

ATM = Air Transport Movements. All totals include scheduled and chartered flights.

(Source: CAA, 2009)

5.3.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

There is no information on the economic value of this industry to the region similarly the ONS employment data is limited.

5.3.3 Future Trends

There is no specific information on future trends for this region. For national projections refer to Section 2.3.3.

5.4 Coast Protection and Flood Defence

5.4.1 Regional Activity

Five coastal protection schemes have undertaken since 2000 within this region, see Figure 91. The location, year of approval and length of each coastal protection scheme is shown in Table 120.

Table 120. Location and length of coast protection schemes in the North West Region since 2000

Location (Year Approved) Length of Scheme ( km)
Craigston (2007) 0.3
Ludag (2007) 1.15
Stoneybridge (2007) 0.5
Pol na Craan (2007) 0.5
Ballvanich (2007) 0.15

(Source: Baxter et al, 2011)

5.4.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

It is not possible to assign an economic value to flood and coastal defences however Table 121 shows the economic costs of the flood defences in this region. There are no employment figures available for this activity.

Table 121. Cost of coast protection schemes in the North West Region

Location Cost (£million)
Craigston 0.9
Ludag 2.3
Stoneybridge 0.2
Pol na Craan 0.1
Balivanich 0.5

(Source: Baxter et al, 2011)

5.4.3 Future Trends

There is no specific information on future trends for this region. For national projections refer to Section 2.5.3.

5.5 Commercial Fisheries

5.5.1 Regional Activity

5.5.1.1 Fish catching activities

Landings caught by UK vessels within the North West SORER had an average annual value of £98 million (25.6% of the Scottish total) and an average annual live weight of 112,300 tonnes (26.2% of the Scottish total) for the ten year period from 2001 to 2010 (Marine Scotland, 2011d).

Figures 92 to 95 show the annual average value (2001 to 2010) of the total landings taken from within this region, broken down for each ICES rectangle by species group, selected species, gear type and vessel length.

Figures 96 to 98 show the value of all landings caught in the inshore and offshore waters of the North West SORER waters by selected species, gear type and vessel length categories from 2001 to 2010.

The majority of the value and volume of landings from within the South and West of the North West SORER are shellfish, whereas in the North of this SORER the majority are demersal species. There is a marked difference between the main species caught in inshore waters (within 12 nm from the coast) and offshore waters (greater than 12 nm from the coast). In 2010, Nephrops accounted for 69% of the total catch value from inshore waters, while scallops and 'other shellfish' accounted for 11% and 15% of the total catch value, respectively. Offshore, landings of mackerel accounted for 36% of the total catch value and 54% were whitefish.

In 2010, 33% of the value of landings from inshore waters was taken by vessels 10m and under in length, 27% of the value was landed by vessels over 10m and less than 15m and 40% of the value was landed by vessels 15m and over. Offshore, 82% of the value of landings was taken by vessels 15m and over in length.

For inshore waters, 45% of the total catch value was caught by pots and 36% by Nephrops trawls; whereas for offshore waters, 43% was caught by demersal trawls and 41% by pelagic trawls.

Figures 99 and 100 show the overflight (surveillance) sightings by vessel type and nationality in the region from 2006 to 2010. There is a clear pattern of both nationality and distribution shown within the North West Region, which has 20% of national fishing effort. The French and Spanish vessels account for 32% of all vessels sighted. The majority of vessels fishing within the 12 NM limit are British however a cluster of British, Spanish, Irish, Dutch and German vessels are found around the waters of Rockall. 94% of fishing is conducted by demersal, pelagic and other trawlers.

The main administrative fishing ports in this region are Mallaig, Portree, Ullapool, Lochinver and Stornoway (Kinlochbervie is included within the boundary of North East SORER, although it is actually located on the North West coast of Scotland) and there are also 30 smaller ports throughout the region. All the ports are shown in Figure 101.

5.5.1.2 Fish processing activities

Fish processing facilities in the North West SORER are few and mostly on a small scale. Prawn and shellfish factories are operated in the Western Isles, and in Mallaig. White fish primary processing takes plans in Stornoway, Kinlochbervie, Lochinver and Mallaig. There are no fish processing facilities at Ullapool. Young's Seafood in Stornoway is one of the larger fish processing units in this region, producing breaded scampi from Nephrops sourced off the West coast of Scotland.

5.5.1.3 Wild salmon and sea trout

There are two fixed engines netting sites on the Isle of Skye and one net and coble netting site on the Isle of Lewis in the North West SORER (see Figure 101).

The main rod and line fishing rivers in this region are the Rivers Lochy (salmon), Croe (salmon), Carron (sea trout), Torridon (salmon), Ewe (salmon), Gruinard (salmon), Ullapool (salmon), Kirkaig (salmon) and Inver (salmon). Most of these rivers were once also renowned for their sea trout but the decline in sea trout catches has been particularly dramatic in the past 20 years in the Rivers Carron, Torridon, Ewe, Gruinard, Ullapool and Inver (Gray J., 2009).

River closures have also been carried out in recent years in this region, due to a collapse in stocks of migratory salmon and sea trout including the River Croe, which was once popular with salmon averaging 6 lbs and sea trout 2 lbs and the River Applecross, from which around 100 salmon used to be caught along with some sea trout (Gray J., 2009).

5.5.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

5.5.2.1 Fish catching activities

The North West SORER is covered by the administrative ports of Mallaig, Portree, Ullapool, Lochinver and Stornoway. There are 1102 fishermen employed on Scottish based vessels in these districts; 922 of these are employed full-time, 128 are part-time and 35 are crofters. There are 290 active vessels registered in these districts, 207 of which are 10m and under in length.

In the majority of this region, direct employment in the fishing sector accounts for between 5% and 10% of total employment (Baxter et al., 2011). However, in the Southern islands of the Outer Hebrides, direct employment in the fishing sector accounts for between 10% and 15% of total employment (Baxter et al., 2011).

In the coastal Travel-to-Work areas of Skye and Ullapool fisheries dependent employment (which includes direct employment in the fish catching, farming and processing sectors and indirect employment and induced impacts as a result of the demand for goods and services required by the fisheries sector) is estimated to account for between 2 and 15% of all local jobs (Baxter et al., 2011).

5.5.2.2 Fish processing activities

The ONS (2011) statistics for processing activities in the North West SORER are shown in Table 122.

Table 122. Employment in fish and shellfish processing and retail in the North West SORER

SIC, 2007 Full-time Employment Part-time Employment Total Employment
2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010
Processing and preserving of fish, crustaceans and molluscs ( SIC 10200) 369 453 42 46 411 498

(Source: ONS, 2011)

5.5.2.3 Wild salmon and sea trout

There is no specific information on economic value and employment for this region. For a national overview refer to Section 2.6.3.

5.5.3 Future Trends

There is no specific information on future trends for this region. For national projections refer to Section 2.6.3.

5.6 Energy Generation

5.6.1 Regional Activity

There is no specific information on the activity for this region. The North West does not host any major power stations, and it is not possible to identify the power stations from which the region obtains its electricity [45] . However, this does not mean that there is no local generation; it is probable that small scale generation occurs in more isolated areas. Indeed, this is likely given that parts of the Western Isles suffer electricity cuts due to their location at the end of a weak electrical grid (Robertson, 2009). Note that investigations have been carried out in relation to improving grid connections for the Scottish Islands (see Highland and Islands Enterprise, 2007).

5.6.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

Information on regional economic value for energy generation is not available. Data availability on electricity generation and supply is very limited due to security issues.

Direct employment in the electricity sector in the North West Region can be estimated through looking at statistics from the ONS (2011) and Employment Survey. Figures for 2009 and 2010 for full and part time work under several relevant codes are given in Table 123. Although there are no jobs in transmission or trade of electricity, or construction of utility projects for electricity and communications, both production and distribution of electricity are represented. Although as noted above, there are no major power stations in the region, such electricity generation jobs are probably being provided by small scale schemes. It is also likely that there will be some jobs supported by the wider energy sector. For example, there may be work related to engineering activities and related technical consultancy. In the future, it is probable that the number of jobs directly supported by the electricity sector, as well as those in the wider energy generation sector may increase, since there is the potential for wave and tidal generation in the region (see Figure 102).

Table 123. Employment in the electricity sector in North West by SIC Code

SIC Code, 2007 Full-time Part-time Totals
2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010
Production of electricity (3511) 14 32 0 2 14 34
Transmission of electricity (3512) 0 0 0 0 0 0
Distribution of electricity (3513) 35 45 8 7 43 52
Trade of electricity (3514) 0 0 0 0 0 0
Construction of utility projects for electricity and telecommunications (4222) 0 0 0 0 0 0
Electrical installation (4321) 112 82 6 4 118 86
Totals (note that totals may not sum exactly due to rounding) 161 159 14 13 175 172

(Source: ONS, 2011)

5.6.3 Future Trends

There is no specific information on future trends for this region. For national projections refer to Section 2.7.3

5.7 Military Interests

5.7.1 Regional Activity

The coastal military locations which occur within this region are shown in Figure 103. Military interests in this region include:

  • Loch Carron Port;
  • Inner Sound of Raasay official weapon test site including the British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre ( BUTEC) range, the official range for the testing and certification of the Royal Navy's underwater weapons;
  • Benbecula Firing Range;
  • Loch Ewe Fuel Jetty;
  • A Royal Navy SXA, which occurs within inshore waters and extends offshore in the South West of the Region; and
  • The Hebrides Official weapon test site, a large sea area West-North-West of North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist, which is the current official test site for missiles and artillery systems.

5.7.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

The MOD Quarterly Manning Report (Defence Personnel by location) issued in August 2011, provides the number of MOD personnel (civilian and military) employed in each LA area at 1 July 2011 ( MOD, 2011a). Two of these LAs fall entirely or partially within the North West Region and the number of MOD personnel which are employed within each of these LA areas is shown in Table 124. However, as the LA areas do not align with the SORER boundaries, the values should only be taken as indicative values for comparison between areas.

Table 124. MOD personnel by local authority areas which lie within the North West Region

Local Authority ( LA) Area SORER* MOD Total Civilian Military
Highland NE & NW, N 680 600 80
Eilean Siar NW 10 10 0

* Note LAs may occur within more than one SORER. Where this is the case, the SORER containing the largest proportion of the LA (visually assessed) is listed first, and subsequent SORERs contain decreasing proportions of the LA; '&' indicates that the LA ap p.a.s to occupy roughly equal proportions of more than one SORERs.

(Source: MOD, 2011a)

5.7.3 Future Trends

There is no specific information on future trends for this region. For national projections refer to Section 2.8.3.

5.8 Oil and Gas

5.8.1 Regional Activity

The Oil and Gas related infrastructure in this region comprises of a significant discovery not yet developed and a licensed area, both to the North West of the Outer Hebrides. There are no producing hydrocarbon fields or hydrocarbon fields under development in this region (Figure 104).

5.8.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

Given that there are no oil or gas producing hydrocarbon fields in this region, it is not possible to estimate the economic value of Oil and Gas activity in this region, nor is it possible to provide figures for employment.

5.8.3 Future Trends

Although there has been a significant discovery with this SORER there are no current p.a.s to develop the field and therefore no trends can be predicted, beyond the fact that in time there will be opportunities for revenue, employment and supply chain activities. For national projections refer to Section 2.9.3.

5.9 Port and Harbours

5.9.1 Regional Activity

There are no major ports located within this region. There are 45 ports and harbours (see Figure 105 and Table 125) which are predominantly smaller jetties, piers and hard standing areas used by local communities as a base for fishing vessels, inter-island transport and recreational facilities. A number of larger ports are located within this region, these include ports such are Mallaig, Uig (Isle of Skye) and Ullapool which for an integral part in linking island communities with the mainland ( BPA, 2008).

Table 125. North West Regional ports

Port Operator Type
Achiltibuie Local Authority
Applecross Private
Arisaig Private
Back unknown
Bracadale unknown
Breasclete Local Authority
Broadford Local Authority
Canna Private
Carbost Carbost Pier Ltd Private
Castlebay Private
Corpach Clydeboyd Fort William Ltd Private
Dunvegan unknown
Eriskay Recently modernised Local authority
Fort William Local Authority
Gairloch Highland Harbours Local Authority
Garrabost unknown
Glenuig Private
Gruinard Local Authority
Hougharry unknown
Kallin Local Authority
Kishorn Ferguson Transport (S p.a. Bridge) Ltd Private
Kyle Local Authority
Leverburgh Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Local Authority
Loch Carnan Local Authority
Loch Glendcoul Local Authority
Lochboisdale Caledonian MacBrayne Other
Lochinver Highland Harbours Local Authority
Lochmaddy Local Authority
Lochs unknown
Mallaig Mallaig Harbour Authority Trust
Ness Local Authority
Northbay Northbay Port User's Association Private
Poolewe Private
Portnalong unknown
Portree Highland Harbours Local Authority
Rhu Coigach unknown
Scalpay Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Local Authority
Scourie Local Authority
Sleat Ornsay Harbour, Sound of Sleat Unknown
Snizort unknown
Stockinish Local Authority
Stornoway Stornoway Port Authority Trust
Torridon unknown
Uig Highland Harbours Local Authority
Ullapool Ullapool Harbour Trust Trust

(Source: Marine Scotland, 2011a)

5.9.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

The majority of employed staff in this region is associated with services to water transportation and ship repair, boat repair and marine structures work, see Table 126. There is no available data on the value of this industry to the economy of the region.

Table 126. North West Regional ports and harbour employment

SIC 2007 Full-time Employees Part-time Employees
2009 2010 2009 2010
Construction of water projects ( SIC 42910) 0 0 0 0
Operation of warehousing and storage facilities for water transport activities of division 50 ( SIC 52101) 0 0 0 0
Service activities incidental to water transportation ( SIC 52220) 77 22 5 2
Cargo handling for water transport activities of division 50 ( SIC 52241) 0 0 0 0
Building of ships and floating structures ( SIC 30110) 45 48 0 0
Repair and maintenance of ships and boats ( SIC 33150) 15 26 1 0
Total 137 96 6 2

(Source: ONS, 2011)

5.9.3 Future Trends

No future trends are identified.

5.10 Power Interconnectors

5.10.1 Regional Activity

Numerous domestic subsea power cables exist in this region, connecting parts of the mainland and connecting offshore islands (Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides) (Figure 106).

5.10.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

It is not currently possible to assign an economic value to power interconnectors in this region, and although there are cables present within this region there are no data to suggest that any direct employment linked to this activity.

5.10.3 Future Trends

The Scottish National Planning Framework 2 (Scottish Government, 2009b) identifies 'electricity grid reinforcements' as one of the fourteen national developments essential to the delivery of the spatial strategy set out in the second National Planning Framework. The strategic grid reinforcements are essential to provide the transmission capacity necessary to realise the potential of Scotland's renewable energy sources, maintain long-term security of electricity supply and support sustainable economic development. This development would include new sub-sea cable links between the Outer Hebrides and the mainland. No information was sourced on the timescale of this development.

5.11 Recreational Boating

5.11.1 Regional Activity

Sailing activity in the North West Region is shown in Figure 107. The figure highlights that recreational use is mostly concentrated within the sea lochs and islets near the mainland and the sounds of the Inner Hebrides. Heavy recreational use is made of the Summer Isles, Enard Bay, Eddrachillis Bay, Sound of Raasay, The Inner Sound, Sound of Sleat, Small Isles and the Sound of Harris. Ullapool and Stornoway have medium sized marinas and Kyle of Lochalsh a small marina (Baxter et al. 2011). Stornoway Harbour Trust has experienced an increase in leisure craft visitors, with numbers up from 220 in 2008 to 262 in 2009. Limited moorings are also available throughout the rest of the islands, but visiting boat numbers remain small (Taylor et al 2010).

A heavy usage cruising route also exists which runs past the Small Isles and between Skye and the mainland (Baxter et al., 2011). Light and medium usage cruising routes connect these heavy routes with the islands in the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides and the far North coast of mainland Scotland (Caithness and Sutherland). It should be noted that the RYA UK Recreational Boating Atlas highlights the fact that many lightly used routes are the only routes available and therefore have considerable local importance.

5.11.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

An indicative estimate of the economic impact of sailing in this region is provided by the Scottish Enterprise (2010) and shown in Table 127 below. It must be noted that these values are only indicative as the sailing tourism study regions reported, which are considered to reflect the geography of the main 'sub-national' sailing economies in Scotland, do not align with the SORERs and tend to span various parts of several of the SORERs.

Table 127. Sailing area values for the North West

Sailing Tourism Study Region Scottish Sea Areas Included Relevant SORER Value (£million) GVA Number of Pontoons Number of Moorings
West (Argyll, Ardnamurchan-Gairloch & Outer Hebrides) Minches & Malin sea Hebrides Part of West and North West Regions 39 1030 2637

(Source: Scottish Enterprise 2010, Summarised in Baxter et al, 2011)

There are no regional employment figures for activities relating to recreational boating.

5.11.3 Future Trends

No regional detail on future trends were available, please refer to Section 2.12.3 for national projections.

5.12 Shipping

5.12.1 Regional Activity

Between Ardnamurchan and Cape Wrath there is an almost uninterrupted succession of deep inlets and embayments, fronted by bold rocky cliffs and headlands, from islands, narrows and sea lochs. From a navigational perspective strong tidal streams and eddies can be experienced in narrows and inshore. The Hebrides (a chain of about 30 islands) lay parallel to and a short distance from the mainland. These islands are in two groups, the Outer and Inner Hebrides separated by the Sea of the Hebrides and the Little Minch. Further North the Outer Hebrides are separated from the mainland by the North Minch, the islands are exposed to the Atlantic Ocean on their Westward facing side. The sound of Harris provides a route from Little Minch to the Atlantic for coastal craft ( GLA, 2010).

The passage between the Inner and Outer Hebrides affords some shelter from the Atlantic but depths within the Little Minch are very irregular and several banks some of which are extensive lie across the North East entrance causing navigational difficulties. The Little Minch in bad weather forms a dangerous sea area due to the wind, tidal streams and uneven nature of the bottom producing high and turbulent seas. Consequently, the higher risk of navigational error combined with the extent of marine traffic provides a need for the already establish traffic routing and reporting measures ( GLA, 2010).

There are no major ports located in this region. However, there are numerous small ports and harbours supporting the general local economy or specific operation where direct road access is poor, collectively they provide for significant levels of trade. There is no published information on the specific economic value of shipping to this region. Throughout the area, but particularly in the Southern half, there is substantial seasonal leisure craft activity. Fishing occurs throughout the region.

Transitory through traffic consists of large and smaller crude and product tankers, navigating to and from North Sea and Flotta, Scapa and the Forth. Other traffic include oilfield support vessels repositioning to and from the North Sea, seasonal cruise ship traffic and significant coaster trade to and from Orkney, Shetland or East coat ports to Scandinavia ( GLA, 2010). IMO routing measures for the Minch and West of the Hebrides largely govern transitory through traffic patterns. With larger laden tankers over 35000 DWT using the deep water route West of the Hebrides, but when in ballast they often choose to navigate through the Minch North bound as a shortened route. All other traffic generally uses the Minch North and South bound, see Table 128 for traffic passing through the Minch.

Table 128. Monthly vessel traffic through the Minches in 2009

Movements J F M A M J J A S O N D Total % Vessel No
Northbound (%) 52 59 50 55 53 51 55 55 55 56 51 49 53 1,238
Southbound (%) 48 41 50 45 47 50 45 45 45 44 49 51 47 1,082
% per month 7.0 7.6 8.7 9.1 9.5 8.4 8.6 8.1 8.9 8.8 8.0 7.1 100 2,320

Excludes local ferry traffic and fishing vessels

(Source: Baxter et al, 2011)

Within this region, ports such as Mallaig, Ullapool and Stornaway provide for ferry terminals for routes to the islands, fishing, coastal general bulk cargo, fish farm support and frequent seasonal cruise vessel traffic. Timber is exported from mainland ports such as Kishorn with substantial quarry traffic also occurring. Local life line ferries operate Mallaig to Eigg, Muck, Canna & Rhum; Mallaig to Armadale; Ullapool to Stornaway; Uig to Tarbert and Lochmaddy; Berneray to Leverburgh; Oban to Lochboisdale and Castlebay and Barra to Eriskay ( GLA, 2010). There are 16 ferry routes in the area detailed in Table 129 and in Figure 108.

Table 129. North West Regional ferry routes

ID Port 1 Port 2 Statistics Regions
0 Oban Barra (Castlebay) Yes Northwest - West
1 Ullapool Lewis (Stornoway) Yes Northwest
2 Skye (Uig) North Uist (Lochmaddy) Yes Northwest
3 Mallaig Skye (Armadale) Yes Northwest
4 North Uist (Berneray) Harris (Leverburgh) Yes Northwest
5 Skye (Sconser) Raasay (Suisnish) Yes Northwest
6 Mallaig Inverie Yes Northwest
7 Fort William Camusnagaul Yes Northwest
8 Skye Harris No Northwest
9 Eriskay Barra No Northwest
10 Barra South Uist No Northwest
11 Tiree Barra No Northwest - West
12 Rum Muck No Northwest
13 Rum Canna No Northwest
14 Mallaig Rum No Northwest
15 Mull South Uist No Northwest - West

(Source: Marine Scotland, 2011a)

5.12.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

There is no published information on the specific economic value of shipping to this region. Employment extracted from ONS shows that the main employment in this sector is categorised as 'Sea and Coastal Passenger Water Transport', with 93 people in employed full time employment in 2010. There are no other figures of direct port employment fro this region.

5.12.3 Future Trends

Traffic patterns have not substantially changed since 2005 other than a significant increase in cruise vessels visiting the area. Traffic of all types (passenger ferry, cargo, leisure and Government) operate in small but significant quantity throughout this region either departing or arriving at local ports providing essential transport for the economy of the area, these trends are unlikely to change into the future.

5.13 Social and Community

5.13.1 Regional Activity

5.13.1.1 Demographics

The population of the North West Region is summarised in Image 34 (in green). The Image shows that the population of the North West is significantly greater in the older age bands (45-49 to 90+), but is lower than the national average for ages between 15 and 39. The overall average age in the North West Region is 41 years old (two years more than the national average). The total population in North West Region is 131,000. Some of the significant differences seen may be ex p.a.ned by the relatively small population in this region.

Image 35 shows the change in the number of people of working age, pensionable age and children between 1996 and 2010. The chart shows that both the number of children and people of working age has declined over this period. The decline in the number of children (from 10,400 in 1996 to 8,200 in 2010, a reduction of 21.5%) has been on-going throughout the whole period. The number of working age people has fluctuated, increasing in some years and decreasing in others. Overall, the reduction is 3.2% (from 30,100 in 1996 to 29,200 in 2010). The number of people of pensionable age has increased by 17% between 1996 and 2010 (from 10,600 in 1996 to 12,400 in 2010).

Image 34. Comparison of the Population of North West Region with National Average

 Image 34. Comparison of the Population of North West Region with National Average

(Source: Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, 2011)

Image 35. Change in Population 1996-2010 in the North West Region

 Image 35. Change in Population 1996-2010 in the North West Region

(Source: Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, 2011)

5.13.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

Median gross weekly income for full-time employees in North West Region was £323.60 (Highland) and £390.50 (Eiean Siar) in 2001, a difference across the region of £66.90 per week. By 2010, the median earnings had increased to £457.20 in the Highlands and to £460.10 in Eilean Siar, a difference of just £2.90 per week. The overall change between 2001 and 2010 was 41.3% in the Highland compared with just 17.8% in Eilean Siar. Taking account of inflation, the gross weekly earnings increased by 9.5% in Highlands but had reduced, in real terms, by almost 9% in Eilean Siar.

Table 130 shows employment data by industry sector for the North West. The table shows that the greatest number of jobs are associated with Sectors Q (human health and social work activities) (17% of the total for 2010). Other industry sectors accounting for more than 10% of jobs are in wholesale and retail (G) at 14%, education (P) at 13% and accommodation and food service activities (I) at 12%. Less significant in the North West are mining and quarrying (0.7%), electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply (0.4%) and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities (E) at 0.3%. Agriculture, forestry and fishing makes u p.a.most 4% of all jobs, while jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation (R) make up more than 2% of all jobs in the North West.

Table 130. Employment data by industry sector in the North West

Industry Sector Full-time Part-time Total
2009 2010 2009 2010 2009 2010
A. Agriculture, forestry and fishing 574 613 55 212 632 822
B. Mining and quarrying 139 131 6 11 145 144
C. Manufacturing 1,027 946 137 110 1,163 1,056
D. Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply 58 87 10 8 67 94
E. Water supply; sewerage, waste management and remediation activities 85 62 3 4 89 66
F. Construction 1,132 1,100 74 65 1,206 1,167
G. Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles 1,797 1,590 1,188 1,234 2,988 2,825
H. Transportation and storage 909 930 241 182 1,149 1,109
I. Accommodation and food service activities 1,477 1,184 1,403 1,227 2,881 2,410
J. Information and communication 360 386 109 230 471 617
K. Financial and insurance activities 160 165 56 40 217 206
L. Real estate activities 191 141 50 49 241 193
M. Professional, scientific and technical activities 818 530 152 98 971 626
N. Administrative and support service activities 304 329 204 244 507 574
O. Public administration and defence; compulsory social security 1,230 1,281 708 750 1,937 2,032
P. Education 1,223 1,323 1,311 1,370 2,536 2,691
Q. Human health and social work activities 1,609 1,533 2,003 2,012 3,613 3,542
R. Arts, entertainment and recreation 329 298 217 187 547 487
S. Other service activities 131 123 143 129 270 255
Total 13,553 12,752 8,070 8,162 21,630 20,916

Notes: NOMIS statistics show 0 jobs for sectors T and U

(Source: ONS, 2011)

5.13.2.1 Crofting

Crofting can be defined as small-scale subsistence farming, a croft being a small unit of land which is often located on a larger estate [46] . Crofting land is often poor quality and holdings are small. Crofting is an important part of the economy and community in this region, with several crofting communities located in Skye, Lochalsh, Lochaber, the Western Isles and the NW Highland counties of Caithness, Ross-Shire and Sutherland. The Skye, Lochaber and Lochalsh area contains around 2500 crofts with 11460 households in parishes containing crofts. The NE Highland area contains 2063 crofts. The Western Isles contains considerably more crofts with 6027 crofts and 11275 households in parishes containing crofts (George Street Research, 2007). The proportion of household income in Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber is almost double that in the Western Isles ( Table 131) and the total income is much higher in the NW Highland and Western Isles areas than Skye, Lochlash and Lochaber. Income from crofting activities is very similar in both Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber and the Western Isles areas, but is higher in the NW Highlands.

Table 131. Household income and proportion of crafting income by area

Area Total Household Income (£2007) Income from Crofting (£2007) Proportion of total Household Income that comes from Crofting (%)
Skye, Lochalsh, Lochaber 148,800 6,580 44
N W Highland 217,000 8,060 31
Western Isles 205,700 6,560 24

(Source: Hilliam, 2007)

5.13.2.2 Health

The proportion of people rating their health as good or very good in Highland increased very slightly from 88.3% (2001/2002) to 88.8% (2007/2008). This compares with a small decrease in Eilean Siar from 89.7% (2001/2002) to 88.8% (2007/2008).

5.13.2.3 Equality

Table 132 presents the results from the index of deprivation for the North West, for all datazones and coastal datazones. There are 65 coastal datazones in the North West, equivalent to 94% of all datazones. The table shows that there are no datazones in the North West Region that fall into the 10% most deprived. Coastal datazones are slightly more likely to be in the 10% most affluent datazones for education, skills and training, income and health. The average ranking for coastal datazones is higher for education, skills and training, employment, income and health, being slightly lower for housing (suggesting coastal datazones are slightly more deprived under the housing indicator), however since 94% of the datazones are identified as being coastal, it is not surprising that the differences are small. The overall implications of these data are that communities in the North West tend to fall into the middle ground of being neither deprived nor affluent.

Table 132. Index of deprivation for North West

NW All Datazones
Overall Skills, Training and Education Employ-ment Income Housing Health
Min (most deprived) 1605 2426 1857 1711 1006 1066
Max (most affluent) 4253 6137 5389 5885 5424 6111
Average 2763 3883 3458 3147 3066 3287
10% most deprived (total) 0 0 0 0 0 0
10% most deprived (as % of all) 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
10% most affluent (total) 0 3 0 1 0 3
10% most affluent (as % of all) 0% 4% 0% 1% 0% 4%
NW Coastal Datazones
Overall Skills, Training and Education Employ-ment Income Housing Health
Min (most deprived) 1703 2475 1896 1711 1006 1124
Max (most affluent) 4253 6137 5389 5885 5424 6111
Average 2792 3940 3512 3185 3029 3347
10% most deprived (total) 0 0 0 0 0 0
10% most deprived (as % of all) 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
10% most affluent (total) 0 3 0 1 0 3
10% most affluent (as % of all) 0% 5% 0% 2% 0% 5%

(Source: Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, 2011)

5.13.2.4 Skills, training and education

There are two local authorities allocated to the North West Region. Table 133 summarises data on the percentage of the population with a degree, with no qualification and receiving job-related training. The table shows the difference between the minimum and maximum result by local authority across the region. The table shows that the level of qualifications has increased over time (as an increase for those with degrees and a reduction of those with no qualifications). The pattern for job-related training is more variable, with a slight decrease from 2004 to 2010.

Table 133. Summary of education and skills in the North West

North West 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Percentage with a degree (minimum) 12% 12% 11% 16% 14% 17% 18%
Percentage with a degree (maximum) 13% 14% 14% 16% 16% 20% 19%
Percentage with no qualifications (minimum) 15% 12% 11% 10% 10.1% 8.2% 6.6%
Percentage with no qualifications (maximum) 20% 15% 14% 14% 10.4% 11% 11%
Percentage receiving job-related training (minimum) 28% 26% 27% 27% 25% 26% 25%
Percentage receiving job-related training (maximum) 29% 28% 27% 28% 29% 31% 27%

(Source: Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics, 2011)

The range of results given in Table 138 shows the greatest for the percentage with a degree, with minimum of 12% in 2004 increasing to 18% in 2010 (Eilean Siar). The maximum is 13% in 2004 increasing to 19% in 2010 (Highland).

In terms of the population with no qualifications, the range is between 15% and 20% in 2004, and between 6.6% and 11% in 2010. The area with the highest proportion of the population with no qualifications is Eilean Siar in both 2004 and 2010. The minimum values are for Highland.

The area offering the greatest proportion of job-related training in 2004 and 2010 was Highland, reasonably closely followed by Eilean Siar.

The minimum drive time to a college of Further or Higher Education in the North West Region is 53 minutes in both Eilean Siar and Highland.

5.13.2.5 Access to services

Of the two local authorities in the North West, the highest occupancy is in Highland (at 90%) with vacant spaces at 4%. The lowest occupancy rate is in Eilean Siar (85%), with vacant spaces at 7.3%. The remainder (around 6% in Highland and 8% in Eilean Siar) relates to holiday spaces.

House prices do vary between the two local authorities in the North West Region, although the values for Highland are close to the national average. In recent years, (since 2003), values in Highland have increased so they are higher than the national average. Mean house sale prices in Eilean Siar are considerable lower than the national average. In 2010, the national average was £154,078 while the average in Eilean Siar was £103,288, or 33% lower than the national average. Figure 109 presents the results for the North West in comparison with the other regions. Highland is the second least affordable areas to buy a house in Scotland (after Edinburgh) with 27.6% of disposable income spent on mortgage payments (Bank of Scotland, 2011). It is also one of the areas with older average first-time buyers. Bank of Scotland (2011a) shows that the average age of first-time buyers in Highland in 2011 was 30, with a house price to earnings ratio of 4.2.

Data on council house debt are only available for Highland, at £11,123 per house in 2011, 20% higher than the national average. The quality of housing in the North West tends to be better than average in the social sector, with 64% of social sector dwellings failing the SHQS compared with the national average of 66%. The reverse is true for private sector dwellings, where 74% failed the SHQS between 2005 and 2008, compared with 69% for the national average.

Table 134 shows the mean and median drive time to different services in the North West Region, and the datazones with the shortest and longest drive times, by service type. There is considerable variation between the shortest and longest time. The mean and median are also considerably greater than the shortest times, suggesting that there is greater isolation in the North West than in other regions. The longest drive time also show that some communities are considerably more isolated from services such as petrol stations and supermarkets

Table 134. Drive time to services in North West Region

Service Drive Time in Minutes
Mean Median Shortest Longest
GP 12 11 1.3 40
Petrol station 18 12 1.5 135
Post office 6.6 5.3 1.4 25
Primary school 7.8 6.7 1.2 25
Supermarket 33 26 1.3 173

(Source: Scottish National Statistics, 2011)

5.13.2.6 Quality of life

The highest perceived quality of life in 2007/2008 was in the Eilean Siar, where 73.5% rated their neighbourhood as good or very good. The value for Highland was significantly lower at 62.3%. The percentage of adults rating their neighbourhood as good or very good has increased by 10.7% between 1999/2000 and 2007/2008 in Eilean Siar, although there has been a decrease since 2003/2004 from a high of 75.6%. In Highland, there has been a slight decline of 0.6% between 1999/2000 and 2007/2008. There has, though, been a much larger decline since 2005/2006, from 67.5%.

5.13.2.7 Energy and resource consumption

Table 135 shows the average and range of electricity consumption across domestic customers for 2009, and then the change between 2005 and 2009. The table shows that average consumption (per household) in the North West Region was 8.2 MWh in 2009 (compared with an overall estimated average per household for Scotland of 5.7 MWh). A reduction in MWh consumed per household was seen in both local authorities, although the change is small.

Table 135. Electricity consumption in North West Region

Statistic Domestic Customer ( MWh Per Household)
Average consumption ( GWh, 2009) 8.2 (in both Eilean Siar and Highland)
Largest reduction in consumption ( GWh, 2005-2009) -0.4
Local Authority area Highland
Smallest reduction in consumption ( GWh, 2005-2009) -0.3
Local Authority area Eilean Siar
Average consumption ( GWh, 2009) 8.2 (in both Eilean Siar and Highland)

(Source: based on Scottish National Statistics, using total electricity consumption by domestic
customers by local authority divided by occupied household spaces per local authority)

Table 136 shows the population considered to be in fuel poverty between 2004/2007 and 2007/2009 for the North West Region. The table shows that those households where the highest income earner ( HIH) is 60+ are more likely to be in fuel poverty than the whole population in 2007/2009. At 68.5%, this is much higher than the national average of 45.9% for this group. The percentage of HIH 60+ in fuel poverty has, though, decreased very slightly between 2005/2008 and 2007/2009 (from 68.9% to 68.5%). The proportion of households with HIH 60+ that are in fuel poverty is very different in Eilean Siar (85.1%), the highest of any local authority in Scotland, and Highland (51.8%). The percentage of HIH 60+ in fuel poverty in Eilean Siar has increased from 77.4% in 2004/2007 and 82.5% in 2005/2008, and seems to be continuing to increase. For the population as a whole, the percentage in fuel poverty is again much higher in Eilean Siar (58.7%) compared with Highland (36.2%). Both local authorities show an increase from 2004/2007 to 2007/2009 with Eilean Siar increasing by 9.3% and Highland by 4.7%.

Table 136. Population considered to be in fuel poverty in North West Region

Population % of Population in Fuel Poverty
2004/2007 2005/2008 2007/2009
All 40.5% 42.2% 47.5%
Any disability or long term sick 39.0% 37.8% 39.7%
No disability or long term sick 45.0% 52.9% 51.1%
HIH 60+ 64.9% 68.9% 68.5%
HIH under 60 22.1% 24.4% 25.4%
Female HIH 47.6% 48.7% 48.4%
Male HIH 35.2% 38.8% 40.4%

(Source: Scottish National Statistics, 2011)

5.13.3 Future Trends

Table 137 summarises the statistics and trends discussed above to give an indication of the likely future changes by indicator, comparing national with local trends (where data are available). There is much greater uncertainty over trends for the time period of 30 to 50 years and, in both cases, it is assumed that future trends follow recent and historic trends. The table only includes rows for which there are data at the regional level. For national projections where regional data are not available refer to Section 2.14.3.

Table 137. Summary of future trends in North West Region

Table 137. Summary of future trends in North West Region

5.14 Telecomm Cables

5.14.1 Regional Activity

The offshore telecommunication cables passing through this region are part of the international network passing South of Shetland connecting Europe to the UK and North America, see Figure 110. The approximate landfall locations (note, not necessarily within this region) and capacity of these cables are shown in Table 138.

Table 138. Subsea telecommunication cables in the North West Region

Cable To/from Capacity Length of Cable in Region ( km)
AT LANTIC CROSSING 1 (AC1) Seg.A Germany, Netherlands, UK, USA. Seg A: North Sea/N'Scotland 120Gbps 8307.5
TAT 14(K) Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, France, UK. Section K: Blaabjerg (Denmark) to 20 West 3.2Tbps 6707.8

(Sources: http://www.iscpc.org/cabledb/North_Sea_Cable_db.htm; http://www.cablemap.info/default.aspx; and http://www.submarinecablemap.com/)

5.14.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

There is currently no agreed method for valuing the services provided by cables as they form part of a wider infrastructure. There are no records of direct employment for telecomm cables within this region.

5.14.3 Future Trends

No specific information on future trends for this region was found. For national projections refer to Section 2.15.3.

5.15 Tourism

5.15.1 Regional Activity

In North West Scotland, all types of tourist site are represented (see Figure 111), with the majority of sites being on the coast rather than inland. It should be noted that there is a considerable concentration of natural heritage attractions in the South of the Isle of Harris. In addition, the Islands of Canna and Hyskeir in the Sea of the Hebrides have been established as basking shark hotspots (Speedie et al, 2009). This is likely to be promoting wildlife watching in the area. Indeed wildlife tourism has increased, even in times of recession (Scottish Government, 2010). The value of the North West Region's wildlife is also e mp.a.ised by the fact that there are 14 Marine Special Areas of Conservation [47] . These are mainly located around the Hebrides and Western Isles (Joint Marine Programme, 2004).

Historic/heritage attractions also feature, both on the islands and the mainland. Indeed, the region includes the St Kilda World Heritage Site (see Figure 112) which is the only such site in Scotland to be designated for both its natural and cultural significance [48] . St Kilda is home to 5 million seabirds including the largest colony of Northern Gannets in the world, with 36% of the global population (Joint Marine Programme, 2004).

For more active tourism, North West Scotland has one designated bathing water at Achmelvich Bay, a site which also holds a Seaside Award (see Figure 113).

Although overall visitor numbers do not exist for the region as a whole, information from VisitScotland can be used to provide an approximation. For the Western Isles [49] alone, in 2009 UK visitors made around 0.08 million trips, stayed for 0.38 million nights and spent £20 million. Overseas visitors to the islands made 0.11 million trips, stayed for 0.44 million nights and spent £30 million.

5.15.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

In the Outer Hebrides, tourism is a significant contributor to the economy (Taylor et al, 2010). However, information on the number of jobs in tourism is not readily available..

5.15.3 Future Trends

A recent study by the Scottish Government (2010) agrees with this trend. indicates that the trend in whale watching and eco-tourism is an u p.a.ds one. Thus, cetacean watching may continue to expand in this region.

For further discussion on general trends in tourism, see Section 2.16.3 (National Overview).

5.16 Waste Disposal

5.16.1 Regional Activity

The location of open, disused and closed dredge disposal sites are shown in Figure 114. The name of open disposal sites and the area of seabed each disposal site covers are shown in Table 139.

Table 139. Area of seabed covered by open disposal sites in the North West Region

Name of Disposal Site Area of Seabed (m²)
Lochinver 0.037
Loch Nevis 0.059
Isle Of Eigg 0.116
Sound Of Canna 0.116
Port Mor Isle Of Muck 0.116
Ullapool (Loch Broom) 0.035
Total 0.478

(Source: Based on Cefas data, 2011)

Data supplied by Marine Scotland indicated that no licences were issued for disposal of dredge spoil at open sites in this region in 2010.

5.16.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

It is not possible to calculate the GVA associated with dredge spoil disposal (Baxter et al, 2011). In addition there are no figures for direct employment in this activity.

5.16.3 Future Trends

The NRIP identified two locations in this region, Arnish and Kishorn, which could potentially support the offshore wind, wave and tidal industries. Arnish was identified as a site which could be used for installation of renewables and further supply chain manufacturing uses but that development required for this would include improved quay access. Kishorn Port has been identified as a potential site for offshore wind manufacturing, assembly and fabrication, operations and maintenance and decommissioning. Infrastructure development requirements to fulfil this role include deepening of the water channel and further deep water quay facilities, possibly up to 20m in depth (Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Highland and Island Enterprise (2010b).

5.17 Water Sports

5.17.1 Regional Activity

5.17.1.1 Surfing and windsurfing

The Outer Hebrides are exposed to Atlantic swells from the S, W and N, including NE swells coming from the direction of Scandinavia ( http://www.lowpressure.co.uk). Some of the spots in this area are considered high quality although the remoteness of the location means they remain uncrowded most of the time ( SAS, 2009). The SAS (2009) report shows about 16 surfing locations occur within the North West Region ( Table 140 and Figure 115.) Some of these spots are also used for windsurfing.

Table 140. Surfing and windsurfing locations in the North West Region

General Location Surf Location*
Outer Hebrides* Tolsta
Port of Ness
Europie
Barvas
Bus Stop
Bragar
Dalbeg
Dalmore
Cliff
Mangersta
Scarasta
Hosta
Culla Bay
Barra - West coast
Bagh Siar
Sutherland Oldshoremore

* Specific beaches for windsurfing are not listed in the Windsurf magazine 'beach guide' although the islands of North Uist and Barra are listed as windsurfing locations.

(Source: Based on SAS, 2009 and 'Stormrider Guides' 2010)

5.17.1.2 Sea angling

Sea angling is undertaken at a range of sites in this area particularly around the Isle of Skye, Gairloch and Mallaig although intensity is generally less than further South due to the remoteness of some areas causing access issues (Land Use Consultants, 2007).

5.17.1.3 Scuba diving

The location of major scuba diving sites in this area can be seen in Figure 116. Sites are mainly distributed around the Inner Sound and North West coast of Skye. A total of six dive centres and eight dive charter boats along with a few dive clubs operate in the area ( Table 147).

Table 141. The number of dive centres, charter boats and diving clubs found in the in North West Region

Facilities Number
Dive Centres 6
Charter Boats 8
ScotSAC Branches 3
BSAC Branches 1

(Source: BSAC: http://www.bsac.com/; ScotSAC: http://www.scotsac.com/; and http://finstrokes.com)

5.17.1.4 Small sail boat activities and sea kayaking

A number of coastal dinghy sailing clubs can be found in the North West Region, primarily located in the more populated areas such as Portree, Kyle of Lochalsh and Stornoway (Figure 117). Sea kayaking in the North West Region is popular around the Isle of Skye and Sound of Sleat (Land Use Consultants, 2007) (Figure 118).

5.17.2 Regional Economic Value and Employment

The only economic data available within this region was on recreational angling.

5.17.2.1 Angling

Radford et al (2009) estimated the sea angling activity and economic value in eight regions of Scotland. Two of these regions, namely North and Western Isles, fall within the North West Region. As the areas in Radford et al (2009) do not align with the SORERs the values should only be taken as indicative values for comparison between areas.

The total estimated regional sea angling activity and expenditure within these two regions is shown in Table 142.

It has not been possible to obtain regional employment figures for activities relating directly to water sports in the North West.

Table 142. Estimated regional sea angling activity and expenditure in North West Region

Region No. Resident Sea Anglers Annual Sea Angler Days Spent in Region % of Total Activity Undertaken on the Shore Total Annual Sea Angler Expenditure (£M) % of Expenditure Spent on Shore Angling Number of Jobs Supported
North Scotland 7894 144346 43% 11.2 41% 299
Western Isles 2515 80567 44% 9.2 42% 184

(Source: Radford et al, 2009)

5.17.3 Future Trends

No regional detail on future trends were available, please refer to Section 2.18.3 for national projections.


Contact