The Outer Hebrides Relocation Services (OHRS) was started by islanders Angela and David earlier in 2016. I managed to catch up with Angela and David and ask them about why they started their relocation business and what they hoped to achieve in the future.
Angela explained that the idea for the business originated through discussions with various people that had previously moved to the Outer Hebrides and who wished they had discovered it sooner. Both Angela and David have a wealth of local knowledge and are advocates for island life. They both have a background in economic and community development, sales and administration.
The Outer Hebrides Relocation Service offer a unique service to all their clients and realise that everyone’s relocation needs vary. Therefore they offer packages tailor-made to suit individuals; families and businesses; all looking for a smooth relocation to the Outer Hebrides. The time taken to fully relocate can depend on a number of variables, such as school term time for families and the legal process.
David believes that people want to move to the Outer Hebrides for a variety of reasons. In particular, families enjoy the safe and natural environment in which to bring up their children; professionals can have the best of both worlds as good communication links allow the freedom to work remotely with good transport links making the mainland accessible. The Outer Hebrides is also a natural retreat for those who have retired and want to enjoy a new way of life.
I asked Angela what she thought inspired people to relocate to the Outer Hebrides. Angela said, "The Outer Hebrides are a natural and safe environment with a friendly and welcoming people. The beaches are breathtakingly beautiful and unspoilt, very often you will have the whole beach to yourself. The islands are steeped in a rich culture and heritage and this is visible with its monuments and archaeological sites, such as the world renowned Calanais Standing Stones in the Isle of Lewis".
I then asked David what were the best and worst things about living on a remote island. He replied, "The best things about living in the Outer Hebrides has to be the feeling of freedom and space and endless big skies, sunrises and spectacular sunsets. Sometimes the weather can be a challenge when living on an island, in particular if there are any ferry alterations due to weather related disruptions".
David elaborated by mentioning about the increase in tourists to the Outer Hebrides. "There has definitely been a rise in tourist numbers visiting the islands, which is a result of the recent documentary programmes which showcased the beauty of the islands and its inhabitants. Some additional visitors may also have come as a result of the introduction of the Scottish Governments Road Equivalent Tariff, which subsidises travel costs to and from the island. This year with positive currency fluctuations, UK destinations may be desirable to foreign visitors".
i asked Angela if she and David had visited any other islands apart from Harris and Lewis. Angela replied that, "We have visited a number of other islands and have found that each are different in their own way but similar in their welcome and magical attractions. We enjoyed the rugged environment in Skye with its mountain ranges and miles of dramatic coastline. However, we remain steadfast in our favorite being the uninhabited island of St Kilda".
Finally, I asked David where he see's the business in 5 – 10 years’ time. He said, "Our hope is that we will have helped loads of people to have successfully relocated to the Outer Hebrides; doing our bit to address rural depopulation. Additionally we would like to own a second property which is available for our clients to use while they carry out their viewings.
For more information about Outer Hebrides Relocation Services and the service they can offer please visit them at www.ohrs.co.uk or on their Facebook page. Alternatively you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All images courtesy of Angela at Outer Hebrides Relocation Services.