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Thu May 30 2024

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Scottish islands welcome £100m investment

24 Jul 20 The leaders of the three Scottish island councils have welcomed the Scottish and UK governments’ award of £100m in funding that “can transform our islands”.

The money will be shared between Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

The UK government’s secretary of state for Scotland, Alister Jack, and the Scottish government’s cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, have announced that that the islands will receive £50 million from each government towards 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.

The leaders of three councils - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Shetland and Orkney – have described it as "a deal that can transform our islands".

The leader of Orkney Islands Council has welcomed yesterday’s visit to Orkney by prime minister Boris Johnson following the announcement of the government funding for the Islands Growth Deal. Councillor James Stockan said the visit had provided the perfect opportunity to discuss potential projects of major significance to Orkney and to the UK as a whole. “The Islands Growth Deal for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles promises to be of transformational importance for us,” he said. “The UK government, in awarding its share of the funding, has recognised the potential our islands have to contribute significantly to the future prosperity of the country as a whole, as well as our own communities.”

The deal has been the subject of several months of discussion between the ‘Our Islands, Our Deal’ team and both governments.

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Commenting in a joint statement, Councillors Roddie Mackay, James Stockan and Steven Coutts – the leaders of the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland respectively - said:

“We presented the UK and Scottish governments with a serious and ambitious set of proposals which reflected both the scale of our economic opportunities as well as the support required to create a sustainable future for our islands.

“We are delighted with the funding from both governments. We made our case, and throughout the process we felt both governments understood and recognised the opportunities our islands offer.

“This deal has the potential to transform our islands.”

The Our Islands, Our Deal campaign involves a coalition that brings together Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council and their academic and business partners.

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