The Leaders of the three Scottish island councils have welcomed the award of £100 million in funding for a growth deal for 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.
The Leaders of three councils - Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Shetland and Orkney – have described this as ‘a deal that can transform our islands’.
The deal, which has been the subject of several months of discussion between the Our Islands, Our Deal team and both governments, represents an award of almost three-times the figure based on other Scottish growth deals.
Commenting in a joint statement, Councillors Roddie Mackay, James Stockan and Steven Coutts, 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