Some thoughts on how we can retain more young folk in the south of Scotland. In an age where car ownership is again becoming a luxury for the young, perhaps we need to re-visit the public transport infrastructure. I doubt it will bring back the Port Road or a railway through Newcastleton but maybe we need some kind of new public transport settlement for the 21st Century.


The South of Scotland is big, beautiful and it’s dying, or at least it’s age profile suggests that it’s heading that way.

Borderlands – Our Future a report on issues facing the South of Scotland (defined as the UK parliamentary constituencies of Dumfries and Galloway; Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk) published this week by the Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee highlights some of the issues: an ageing population, poorly paid jobs and poor infrastructure. It examines the problems facing the region, and comes up with some solutions which go in the right direction, but don’t seem to provide the step changes to which are really needed to revitalise the region.

Compared to the Scotland overall the population in the South of Scotland is older, and in particular there is a dearth of people aged 16 – 44 while over a quarter of the population are over 60.  This…

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2 responses to “”

  1. Border regions have always suffered. The Basque, Alsace and Tirol are perfect examples of neglect by central government, due to mistrust of the inhabitants and the selfish policy of looking after those in the “true” heartland. And yet, border regions are often the most dynamic in terms of trade and culture.

    1. So true. It’s a situation that’s ripe for new ways of thinking although there’s a fair bit of conservative thinking (in the broadest sense) in our own border areas that needs challenged too. Not for nothing are Borderers frequently referred to as ‘aye beens’. It was that sense of complacency, awakening to the reality only too late that led to the loss of their railway. Things are starting to change though and centralised administrations of all shades need to consider the needs of those on the peripheries in a way they have not done for a century or more.

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