Views Sought on Cost of Living in #Kirkwall

An important study into the costs of living in rural Scotland is looking for participants in Kirkwall who would be willing to take part.

The research will be conducted by a team from the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University, working alongside two Highland based researchers.

It is seeking the experiences of people who live in Kirkwall and surrounding communities (within a 10 mile radius), and from a variety of backgrounds and age groups.

Commissioned by the Scottish Government the aim is to help create a better understanding of the needs and costs experienced by people who live in places like Orkney. This research is called the Minimum Income Standard for Remote and Rural Scotland and updates similar work which was undertaken in 2012, commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and partner organisations.

Abby Davis, researcher at Loughborough University explained that the work has been an ongoing project since 2006. You can find out more about their work here: Minimum Income Standards

Abby said: ” We cannot do this without people coming forward. People who live in these areas are the experts.”

She added that taking part can be enjoyable and that no one will be asked personal questions about themselves.

The research will be carried out through three local focus groups. These will involve a small number of people taking part in an informal discussion led by one of the research team. Normally these focus groups would be carried out in-person at a local venue. However due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions the groups will take place online using Zoom.

You do not need to be an ‘expert’ in anything to participate and will not be discussing any personal details. Your involvement in this project is voluntary and discussions during the focus groups are strictly confidential. The researchers operate under strict ethical and legal codes, including those of the Data Protection Acts and the Social Research Association.

The dates for the focus groups are as follows:
 Working age people (no dependents): Monday 8th March 18.30-21.30
 Pensioners: Tuesday 9th March 10.00-13.00
 Families (with one or more children aged 4 – 18 years old): Thurs 11th March 18.30-21.30

All of the volunteer participants will receive a £50 voucher for contributing to the research.

To Take Part

If you would like to take part in this study or would like more information please contact Jo Ellen, MIS Scotland Research Assistant:

Tel: 07851 969871 or email:

You can download information here:

Leave a Reply