Scottish Government have announced an investment of £50 million to benefit some of Scotland’s Island communities, through the Islands Growth Deal.
The multi-million investment will be spent across several areas and locations, including tourism, infrastructure, innovation, energy transition and skills in Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides.
It will be invested over 10 years and will support local sustainable economic recovery and growth. UK Government are also contributing £50 million towards the Islands Growth Deal.
This Deal is a Regional Growth Deal, which 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.
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.
This deal doesn’t cover all of 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.
Find out more about the Islands Growth Deal for Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.
In December 2019, Scottish Government announced a National Islands Plan, Scotland’s first National Islands Plan which is designed to improve the quality of life for island communities. Find out more about this plan on the Scottish Government website.