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22/07/20 22:30

£50 million for islands

Funding for final growth deal.

The Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland will benefit from investment of up to £50 million by the Scottish Government as part of the Islands Growth Deal.

A range of areas, including tourism, infrastructure, innovation, energy transition and skills, will be targeted with the funding. It will be invested over 10 years and will support local sustainable economic recovery and growth.

The UK Government is also investing £50 million in the Deal.

Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, said:

“The Islands Growth Deal is the final regional growth deal to be announced and marks our commitment to invest across all of Scotland, which is something we have pushed for. This money will work to improve the quality of life for island communities, alongside the Scottish Government National Islands Plan we introduced to the Scottish Parliament at the end of 2019.

“This significant investment will support islanders’ ambitions to create world-class visitor destinations, lead the way to a low carbon future, support growth and future industries and help the communities thrive by attracting and retaining young talent, driving inclusive and sustainable economic growth and delivering long lasting benefits for people living across the three island authority areas.

“It is important that all deals take account of the unprecedented economic challenges created by coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are working with partners, to understand how best to move forward and respond to current circumstances.

“More than £1.8 billion has been committed by the Scottish Government to City Region and Growth Deals and related investments across Scotland, in addition to ongoing capital investment in Scotland’s islands across a range of policy areas.”

Background

Regional Growth Deals are agreements between the Scottish Government, the UK Government and local government designed to bring about long-term strategic approaches to improving regional economies.

The specific projects and activities to be supported will be announced over the coming months, as part of a Heads of Terms agreement.

This deal does not cover all Scotland’s 96 inhabited islands as many of the islands are already covered by other regional growth deals, including within the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal, the Argyll and Bute Growth Deal and the Ayrshire Growth Deal.

The National Islands Plan.