Strathearn and Strathallan Story of Place


 The Strathearn Ward covers the South West Region of Perthshire and follows the course of the River Earn. The region is predominantly rural. Crieff is the largest settlement in the region and the third largest settlement in Perth and Kinross. The Strathallan Ward which includes the town of Auchterarder and Dunning. The A9 runs through the region, linking Perth to Stirling and Glasgow to the South.

The region has hosted a number of high profile international events, such as the G8 summit in 2005 and the Ryder Cup in 2014, both hosted by the Gleneagles Hotel. The region is also home to Strathallan Castle, now the venue for T in the Park; Scotland’s largest outdoor music festival.

Each of the towns and villages across Strathearn and Strathallan has their own histories and identities. There are around 300 community groups in the region which bring the place to life.


Main Settlements in Strathearn and Strathallan

Crieff (population 7,368) is the largest town in the locality. The town is popular with tourists, and offers attractions such as the Caithness glass factory, Innerpeffray Library and Glenturret Distillery. A Crieff Community Action Plan 2013-18 has been developed collaboratively by the Crieff Community Council, Crieff Community Trust and the Crieff and Upper Strathearn Partnership. The Action Plan is intended to provide cohesive strategy and co-ordination for existing community groups, to increase their effectiveness through working in partnership. The town is home to Strathearn Artspace on Comrie Road, Artspace is a community based Arts and leisure project and is a registered charity, aiming to progress Arts education and appreciation within the community of Strathearn.

Auchterarder (population 4,206) is the second largest town in the locality, and is located next to the Gleneagles Hotel and Golf Course. During the G8 Summit the town received money to redevelop their town hall (Atyoun). Friends of Aytoun Hall manage the hall which is used by numerous community groups. There is an Auchterarder and District Community Trust which received funding from a nearby windfarm development, the trusts funds many local projects in the Community Council area of Auchterarder. The town also has a Common Good fund.

Comrie (population 1,927) is a conservation village, and has previously won the Best Large Village Award from Britain in Bloom. The community is very active with 50 community groups. The Comrie Development Trust plays an active role in developing the village including buying the Cultybraggan ex-army camp in 2007 to develop business space and other community assets. The White Church in the centre of the town is now a locally owned community centre. The town has bought a mini-bus which operates its own public transport to various places nearby. The town has a community market garden which grows many fruits and vegetables.

Dunning is also a conservation village, and is home to a population of 942 people. The village has a caravan park and is popular with tourists.

Blackford (population 754) sits to the West of Auchterarder. The village is known for its bottled water industry. The town has a trust fund managed by the Scottish Community Foundation which helps administers local grants through a committee of local representatives.

The village of Braco has an active community. The community run Braco Hall which host a number of groups for locals. The village has a trust fund that administers grants from windfarm money.

Muthill (675 pop) lies 3 miles away from Crieff, the community are currently building a cycle/walking path to Crieff so people have an alternative way to get into the town for school and accessing services.

There are many other small villages throughout the locality which are remote and people need to travel long distances to access key services.

Map of Strathearn & Strathallan


Figure 1 Map of Strathearn & Strathallan


Partnerships and Third Sector

 Strathearn and Strathallan Area Community Partnership consists of community groups, third sector organisations and key public services in the Strathearn area. Their Partnership Priorities plan seeks to identify local needs and target gaps in provision- areas of focus are:

Increasing health and wellbeing: supporting people in the area to lead physically, socially, emotionally and mentally healthy lives. Seeking to increase good health and wellbeing across Strathearn and Strathallan.

  1. Increase Health and Wellbeing: People in our area will lead physically, socially, emotionally and mentally healthy lives. There will be an increase in good health and wellbeing across Strathearn and Strathallan.
  2. Equalities and Inclusion: the Partnership aims to promote and increase equality and inclusion in the locality.
  3. Linking Services and groups: the Partnership aims to increase knowledge and awareness within services regarding the local community about groups, activities and events and the benefits available.
  4. Positive engagement within our communities: the Partnership promotes and will aim to increase community engagement. They also support community groups and individuals to better engage and work together effectively.

Below the Partnership there is an Auchterarder Network which focuses on Auchterarder. One issue the Partnership is addressing is social isolation, the group worked with a local church to run a weekly café for people of all ages to get together.

There are 64 charities registered in Strathearn and Strathallan as well as 9 social enterprises registered in the Perth & Kinross Social Enterprise Directory

There are a wide variety of Community and voluntary groups in the area providing young people’s activities, adult sports, social and interest groups.



Parks, Football Pitches and Countryside Sites

Community Greenspace manage 141 parks across Perth and Kinross. MacRosty Park, Crieff is one of the 8 top destination parks, Friends of MacRosty Park also provide recruitment support, and support for voluntary work which sustains the environment. Contact Community Greenspace to book an event any of the parks they manage, over 350 events were held in our parks during the last year and many groups make use of our green spaces weekly for activities such as walking, running and cycling. Community Greenspace also manage a large number of countryside sites in this area include Lady Mary’s Walk, the Knock of Crieff and Puddock Wood, and a number of path networks, as well as managing some 200 miles of Rights of Way, sports pitches, fishing permits and the North Inch Golf Course. The Forest Plan covers all woodland sites owned by the Council throughout Perth & Kinross, explaining the nature of the woodland areas and the suggested priorities and intentions for their future management. Community Greenspace also are involved in the design of the town centres and often use the Placecheck method of engagement to ensure the communities are involved in the process.

The Community Greenspace team actively engaging with communities, working with volunteers and generating support, interest and activity in Perth and Kinross’s greenspaces. You can follow their blog to find out more. There are Bloom Committees across both Strathearn and Strathallan which enhance the local areas. There are 2 community groups active in the area looking at raising funds to improve Blackford Play area and Auchterarder Public Park. Also a group in St Fillans have designed an innovative woodland play area and hope to secure funds to make this dream a reality.


Support is given to the establishment of Community run allotments. The Allotment Association of Crieff has a well-run, successful site.

Burial Grounds

Bereavement Services  are also part of Community Greenspace and are responsible for the crematorium in Perth and manage 150 burial ground.

Dunning Community Trust

Dunning Community Trust[1] work to improve Dunning and the surrounding areas. They assist in managing local community woodlands.

Population Profile

Figure 2 Population breakdown by age

The Locality of Strathearn and Strathallan has a growing population. It increased by 8% between 2001 and 2011 which, although not as fast as the rest of Perth and Kinross (9.3%), is a faster growth rate than the rest of Scotland (4.6%). The population profile of the locality generally differs from the rest of Perth and Kinross, although the locality has a similar proportion of 0-19 year olds; there are far fewer 20-34 year olds; this is likely to be due to young adults leaving the locality for education and employment opportunities. The area has the highest number of people aged 65 and over of any part of Perth and Kinross; this demographic makes up 23.3% of the population of Strathearn and Strathallan.

Strathearn Pop

Diagram: Population Pyramid of Strathallan and Strathearn

Perth and Kinross148,88019.7%20.2%39.6%20.5%
Eastern Perthshire37,15518.6%18.8%40%22.5%
Kinross-shire, Almond & Earn24,56122.5%15.8%42.7%19%
Highland & Strathtay18,62419%17.6%41.2%22.2%
Perth City46,83419.8%26.2%36.4%17.5%
Strathearn & Strathallan21,70619%17.2%40.5%23.3%

Table 1 Age breakdown

Diagram: Pie Chart of Population breakdown by Age Group

The region is primarily rural, with a population density of 2.7 people per KM 2. People living in some of the more remote regions have to travel significant distances in order to access services.

98.7% of the population of Strathearn and Strathallan is White, including the 80% of the population who identify as White Scottish. The area has fewer (1.3%) white people of a Polish decent than the rest of Perth and Kinross (1.7%), however there is a higher proportion of other white groups (2.3%) than in the rest of the authority (2.1%).


Children, Families and Young People

Giving children the best start in life is a key Partnership objective, as a child’s upbringing is closely linked to their outcomes later on in life. Support for families is one of the great assets of the locality. There are many community groups and services in Strathearn and Strathallan aimed at supporting children and families.

Early Years

The area has a growing population with new houses being build which are popular with young families. Services in many localities are adapting to this change.

There are a number of groups aimed at parents and babies/ toddlers. Bookbug runs in Strathearn Community Campus and Auchterarder Library which helps develop baby’s language skills through singing and rhymes.

There is a SPACE Group (Supporting Parents and Children Early) which runs weekly support sessions for parents at the Strathearn Community Campus. The group is accessed through a referral system. The group allows children aged 0-3 to play while parents learn key skills.

Teenage pregnancy is higher than in the other rural localities in Perth and Kinross. 33 females aged between 15-19 per 1,000 are recorded as young mothers, compared to a rate of 35 for Perth and Kinross. Available accommodation impacts where young mothers are located within Perth and Kinross. There are groups aimed at supporting young mothers.


Youth and Young Adults

 There are a number of uniformed groups for young people to get involved within many of the larger communities.

 Support for young people is available less formally through LOGOS Youth Project. The Project runs a number of informal as well as formal volunteering programme, such as like Duke of Edinburgh and Saltire.


Child Poverty

Child Poverty is lower in the locality than in Perth and Kinross as a whole. 6.7% of children in the locality are classed as living in poverty. There are a number of challenges facing families on low income as the cost of transport to access services can be expensive.



Primary Education

Within the area there are 9 Primary Schools these are:


Secondary Education

Within the locality the majority of pupils will continue their (state) secondary education at Crieff High School (557 Pupils) or The Community School of Auchterarder (446 secondary pupils).  There are a number of private schools in and close to the locality such as Strathallan School, Morrison’s Academy and Beaconhurst.

It is important to remember that that all schools are unique and operate in different circumstances. Schools should therefore not be compared directly against each other.  School level data on attainment and attendance is provided by Education Scotland on their Parentzone site for Crieff High School and The Community School of Auchterarder.


Positive Leaver Destinations

The graph shows the percentage of school leavers who entered a positive destination. Positive destinations include:  higher education, further education, training, voluntary work, employment and activity agreements.

leaver dest strathearn

Figure 3 Percentage of school leavers entering a positive destination

  • The percentage of school leavers entering a positive destination from Crieff High School and The Community School of Auchterarder has fluctuated over the last three years in contrast to the national picture which has shown an increase over the same time period.

School leaver’s attainment in literacy and numeracy

Srath attainment

Figure 4 Percentage of school leavers achieving SCQF Level 4 literacy and numeracy

The graph shows the percentage of school leavers who have achieved literacy and numeracy at SCQF[2] 4 level.

  • The percentage of school leavers achieving SCQF Level 4 literacy and numeracy from The Community School of Auchterarder has fallen over the last three years although levels are still on par with Perth and Kinross as a whole.

Employment and Economy

Strathearn and Strathallan has a diverse local economy. Key industries in the region include agriculture and hospitality. The area boasts lots of small independent businesses. Many towns across the locality are popular places for commuters who work in Perth or in the central belt of Scotland.


Employment status

In 2014, according to the Department of Work and Pensions, 6.5% of the working population were claiming out of work benefit which has, a reduction from 7.9% in 2009. The proportion of people claiming out of work benefit is around half the rate of Scotland.


Employment by Industry

Agriculture, forestry and fishing are major employers within the rural parts of the locality with, 4.5% of people overall working in those industries, compared to 1.7% of people in Scotland. Hospitality is another key employer in the locality, which has a number of notable large hotels, as well as many smaller hotels and bed and breakfasts. 14.1% of people are employed in hospitality compared to just 6.3% of people in Scotland. Hospitality and agriculture are seasonal industries and attract workers from outside of Perth and Kinross. These jobs are often low paid and temporary, which is a concern for people working in the industries.

Key employers include:

    • Crieff Hydro
    • Stewart Milne Group
    • Gleneagles Hotel
    • Highland Spring
    • Duradiamond Healthcare
    • Perth & Kinross Council
    • NHS Tayside
    • Simon Howie


Industry type

Agriculture and forestry are significant employers in the region, with 4.5% of people employed these industries. The proportion of people employed in construction is higher than in the rest of Scotland. This is likely to be because Perth and Kinross has seen rapid population growth compared to the rest of Scotland and more housing is required. The hospitality industry employs many people in Strathearn and Strathallan, as both regions are popular with tourists. Many of the industries in the region are seasonal or rely on short term contracts. This can create uncertainty for workers.



The locality has a high proportion of residents who work from home (18%) compared to the rest of Scotland (11.3%). Uptake of public transport is also lower, with only 10.3% of people using public transport to travel to their places of work and/or study. Over half the population use private transport to travel to their place of work or study, a similar proportion to the rest of Scotland.


Growing economy

Many locals believe that more needs to be done to promote Crieff in particular as a tourist destination. These views are reflected in the town’s action plan, which states that derelict buildings and heavy traffic detract from the many assets and business located in the town centre. The Council’s vacant properties team is looking at a number of options to deal with some of the vacant properties.

Because of the tourism there are a number of local café’s and gift shops which employs a lot of people in the locality.



There are 2 Business Improvement Districts in the Locality. Crieff BiD stated in 2014 and Auchterarder is in the process of developing a BiD. The BiD is funded by many local business in the towns and employs a manager who will work on priorities set by a steering group of local business representatives. Crieff has developed a business plan which sets out an ambition to promote the town, exploring options to reduce utility bills, promote local trade and supporting local voluntary groups.


Income and employment deprivation

Income Deprivation affected 7.3 % of people in Strathearn and Strathallan in 2012, compared to 13% of people in Scotland. In parts of South Crieff,13-15% of people are considered income deprived, compared to just 1% of people in parts of Crieff North. 6.7% of the population experienced employment deprivation in 2012, compared to 13% in Scotland, significantly fewer overall. However, some areas of the locality do experience high levels of employment deprivation relative to the rest of the locality.


Housing and Environment      

Housing Stock

Strathallan and Strathearn are home to over 9,500 residential dwellings with an average household size of 2.20. Owner occupation is the predominant form of tenure within the locality accounting for over 70% of all dwellings. In regards to other tenures, the percentage of private rented dwellings is above the average for Perth and Kinross with both the percentage total for Registered Social Landlord and Council dwellings being below average for the area as a whole. One reason for the above average percentage of private rental dwellings is that the area as a whole has on average houses priced above both the local average. This means that affordability is more of a concern within the locality than it is some of the other localities, which results in more people being housed in the private sector.


House Condition Survey

Households living in the Strathallan and Strathearn locality are more likely to live in fuel poverty than in all other parts of Perth and Kinross, apart from the Highland area, with 31.2% of all households living in fuel poverty[3]. This is mainly down to some of the more remote parts of the locality not being connected to mains gas and also an above average concentration of older harder to heat dwellings. These results are set against an average of 22.3% for Perth and Kinross.


Housing Demand

The recent Housing Needs and Demand Assessment (HNDA) identified that with a median house price of £176,500 the Strathallan and Strathearn locality was above the average recorded for Perth and Kinross as a whole. Furthermore average incomes are just slightly below the local average. This larger than average gap between household earnings and house prices leads to affordability in the housing market being more of a concern than would be in some of the other parts of Perth and Kinross. This factor plays a part in the above average percentage of private rented dwellings in the locality, as was detailed above.

The most recent lettings and waiting list information highlighted that within the Strathallan and Strathearn locality the pressure on social housing is below the average level recorded for Perth and Kinross as a whole. This is primarily as a result of falling waiting list numbers across the whole of Perth and Kinross and also a higher number of lets in the area due to the new build properties in Auchterarder, which were completed and let during the previous year.

As with all the localities in Perth and Kinross new build developments continue to be recorded at levels significantly below pre-recession levels. However there have been signs of an improvement in relation to new build housing with the most recent Land Audit report initially showing an increase in completions from 96 dwellings in 2014/15 to 115 in 2015/16.



There are a large number of derelict buildings in Crieff. This has been highlighted as an area of concern raised in a Community Lead action plan. A number of Community Groups are exploring other uses for buildings.


Transport Infrastructure

Affordable transport is an issue for many people in the locality particularly for those who live in the smaller villages surrounding Crieff and Auchterarder. It is often hard for people especially young people to access services in Perth at particular times of day.

The A85 Trunk Road which runs between Perth and Oban goes through the centre of Crieff. This has been highlighted as a concern for local residents, as lorries and farm vehicles driving frequently through the High-street create noise and congestion.



There are a number of housing developments planned in the area including a 200 more houses in Auchterarder to meet demand in the area.

There is need for a mid-sized supermarket in the locality, although there are a number of local grocery stores currently locals need to go to larger supermarkets outside the local area or shop online.

You can find out about making a Planning Application here and look up Planning applications that have been submitted here.

You can read all about future land use and the Local Development Plan process here.

Independent Planning advice can be obtained from PAS.


Health and Wellbeing

Health Data

Strathearn and Strathallan enjoy better health outcomes than the rest of Perth and Kinross and Scotland. There is, however, inequality in health outcomes within the different neighbourhoods of the locality.

Premature Mortality for adults aged 15-44 per 100,000 population was recorded as 46.4, compared to 100.5 in Scotland, in 2012-14. It is worth noting that mortality rates for this age group were 2 and a half times higher in 2002-04; this figure has therefore seen a significant decline in recent years.

Alcohol abuse is significantly higher in the locality than in the wider Perth and Kinross area. There is a substantially higher rate of alcohol related stays in hospital compared to the four other rural localities in Perth and Kinross.

Local intelligence says there was a growing concern with young people drinking or taking legal highs in public spaces. Recently more young people have reported to taking drugs and alcohol in private. Partners have been working in schools to raise awareness of this issue.

strath mortality


Community feedback

The ‘Join the Conversation’ consultation took place in 2015 as part of the preparation for health and social care integration. The consultation highlighted that local people felt it was important for health and social care providers to work together, to allow patients to be cared for in their own homes. The consultation also highlighted social isolation was a concern, especially for elderly people living in Strathearn and Strathallan. 33.2% of households have only 1 occupant, people living on their own are more likely to feel isolated.


People living with mental health problems is an issue being unsurfaced recently 15.7% of people take prescribed drugs for anxiety/ depression and psychosis which is marginally higher than the 15.1% of people who take drugs for these mental health illness in 2014. The rate of people being prescribed drugs for mental health illnesses has increased in recent years from 12.7% in 2009.


Community Safety


  • Crime rates in the locality are less than half the average rates of Scottish crime, with 16.6 crimes per 1,000 population in 2014 compared to 40.4 in Scotland.
  • Perth & Kinross Community Watch is part of the Neighbourhood Watch Scotland network and will operate specifically to support local residents, businesses and farms from Monday to Friday, during office hours. One of the main aims of the scheme is to improve communications between the local community, police and other Community Safety Partnership agencies working in the area. Sharing information and advice can help prevent crimes, making the gathering of information simpler and help link together a community spread across a wide geographic area.
  • There are a number of neighbourhood watch groups across the locality.



The Auchterarder Community Sports Association was established in 2012 as an opportunity for local sports clubs and key partners to meet at least quarterly to network. The Association focuses on strengthening sports clubs in Auchterarder and the surrounding areas- including Aberuthven, Blackford, Greenloaning, Braco, Glendevon and Dunning-and raising their profiles in the local community and beyond.

Some Clubs in the locality include:

Auchterarder Gymnastics Club Perth Strathtay Harriers (Auchterarder Satellite)
Dunning Golf Club Auchterarder Golf Club
Dunning Tennis Club Auchterarder Primrose AFC
Crieff Badminton Club Crieff Juniors FC
Crieff & Strathearn RFC Muthill Bowling Club
Stingrays Swimming Club Turleum Twirlstars
Strathearn Harriers Strathearn Mountain Biking Club
Crieff Ladies Netball Club Crieff Hydro Squash Club
Crieff Golf Club Crieff Hydro Tennis Club
Perth Strathtay Harriers (Auchterarder Satellite)

Live active Leisure

Perth and Kinross is home to many famous sporting attractions. Our great outdoors makes Perth and Kinross a great place to cycle, run, canoe, golf and take part in many other outdoor activities.

Live Active Leisure offers a range of sport and leisure opportunities across Perth and Kinross. It operates 16 leisure venues throughout Perth and Kinross and works with partners to provide a range of community based activity opportunities for all ages, particularly children and young people.

There are hundreds of Community lead Sports clubs in Perth and Kinross. Live Active Leisure supports many of these groups through BOOST its Sports Development programme.

SCHOOL SPORT – Perth and Kinross has a network of Active Schools Co-ordinators who work together with schools, parents and communities to offer children and young people the opportunities and motivation to adopt active, healthy lifestyles, now and into adulthood.

Looking for ADVENTURE in our great outdoors LAL have a dedicated team with the aim of creating opportunities, developing resources, removing barriers and supporting growth, participation and learning for all outdoor learners in Perth and Kinross.

Being physically active is good for physical and mental health. WELLBEING programmes such as Stride for Life and Activity Referral in place to support the inactive to get active in communities across Perth and Kinross supported by the Wellbeing Team.

Elected Representatives

MPs and MSPs

Strathearn & Strathallan is covered by the Ochil & South Perthshire Constituency, represented by Luke Graham (Con) for Westminster. For Holyrood, Strathearn and Strathallan falls into the Perthshire South & Kinross-shire consistency represented by Rosanna Cunningham (SNP). In addition, Strathearn and Strathallan contributes towards the election of 7 regional MSPs as part of the Mid Scotland and Fife Region:

  • Mark Ruskell (Green)
  • Alex Rowley (Labour)
  • Claire Brennan-Baker (Labour)
  • Dean Lockhart (Conservative)
  • Alexander Stewart (Conservative)
  • Murdo Fraser (Conservative)
  • Liz Smith (Conservative)



Community Councils


Deprivation and Inequalities


The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) ranks small statistical areas in Scotland from most to least deprived. Areas in Strathearn and Strathallan have sit on the least deprived end of the scale with none of the datazones in the locality are classed as amongst the 40% most deprived areas in Scotland.  In contrast, there are areas within the locality which are classed as being part of the 10% least deprived in Scotland.

SIMD QuintileEastern PerthshireKinross-shire, Almond & EarnHighland & StrathtayPerth CityStrathearn & StrathallanScotland
Table 2 Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012

Food Banks

There is a well-used foodbank in Crieff which supports vulnerable people or people who have fallen on financially difficult times. Because of the rural nature of the locality it is harder for people who need such assistance to access this resource outside of Crieff. Many people in Auchterarder rely on people to go the Crieff foodbank on their behalf.



[2] Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework

[3] Local House Condition Survey 2014/15


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