Centre for Rural Economy


Social Capital on Rum and the Small Isles

This project was requested by Michael Russell MSP, Minister for the Environment, following a visit to Rum and Eigg in late September 2007.

The Minister asked for further research on the social capital of Rum and the other Small Isles to inform future discussions about the prospects for a community-based approach to social and economic development on Rum.

The project addressed two key questions:

Is the existing Rum community capable of managing some, or all, of the publicly owned assets on Rum?

If not, or only in part, is there social capital elsewhere in the vicinity which can be tapped to provide the necessary skills and experience?

The research team presented the findings to key stakeholders (including Scottish Natural Heritage who manage Rum as a National Nature Reserve) and to the Minister in November 2007. On 3rd December, the ‘Rum Summit’ was held in Morar near Mallaig, where agreement was reached between stakeholders and members of the Rum community about the way forward for the Island. More information about the Summit can be found here.

The final report from this project is available here as a Centre for Rural Economy Research Report.