A new group has been tasked with building and driving forward a strategy for Orkney’s recovery from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Economic Recovery Steering Group brings together representatives from businesses, Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
The group has selected Glen McLellan as its chair, along with Gillian Skuse and Neil Kermode as its vice-chairs.
Glen said: “All of us on the group recognise the urgent need to strengthen Orkney’s economy, making it more resilient as local businesses look to recover from the huge impact Covid-19 continues to have on our islands.
“A key task is to look at ways to keep money generated in Orkney within Orkney for the greater good of our community. The drive to support local businesses launched recently by The Orcadian and Kirkwall BID and Beyond is a great example of this.
“With the furlough job retention scheme coming to an end later this year, we are looking as a priority at what can be done to mitigate against the effects this will have locally.”
A Business and Economy Response and Recovery Group (BERRG) involving the private and public sectors was set up soon after lockdown restrictions came into force earlier in the year.
Its efforts led to the development of Council support initiatives for local businesses unable to access funding through Government schemes and it continues to generate ideas for the recovery of Orkney’s economy.
“The new steering group has been established to build on the ongoing work of the BERRG and take forward an economic recovery strategy for Orkney,” Glen explained.
“The business representatives all volunteered to be involved and are working in unison with the Council and HIE to prioritise what needs to be done and when – a joint effort for the greater good of our community.
“Many great ideas have already been put forward – and we welcome more. Get in touch with us if you can help us to make the recovery process as effective as possible. We will be providing more information about our plans in the very near future.”
As the Economic Recovery Steering Group builds and takes forward the recovery strategy, it will report progress to the Orkney Partnership, which brings together key public sector decision-makers in Orkney.
The business representatives on the steering group are: Kris Bevan, John Flett Brown, Gareth Davies, Stephen Kemp, Fiona Matheson, Duncan McLean, Glen McLellan, Neil Kermode and Gillian Skuse.
The Council is represented by Councillors James Stockan, Graham Sinclair, Rachael King, John Richards and Barbara Foulkes, Interim Chief Executive John Mundell and Executive Director of Development and Infrastructure Gavin Barr.
HIE is represented by Area Manager Graeme Harrison.
To get in touch with the group, in the first instance contact:
Glen McLellan - email@example.com
Neil Kermode - firstname.lastname@example.org
Gillian Skuse - email@example.com