Ambitious ‘Islands Deal’ proposals highlighted at Holyrood

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Islands MSPs Liam McArthur, Tavish Scott and Alasdair Allan jointly sponsored a reception at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday evening to make the case for an “Islands Deal” for Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

Invited guests and partners heard from the three Council Leaders and Islands Deal Programme Director David Amos, about how the three authorities have worked together since 2017 to create ambitious proposals for an “Islands Deal” which would be transformational for the economies and communities of the isles.

The proposals build on the unique strengths and world class assets of the islands groups and include specific and cross island proposals covering areas such as low carbon energy, tourism, housing and healthcare.

Following discussions with government officials, these updated proposals will be submitted to the UK and Scottish Government in March.

The Scottish Government has committed to 100% coverage of Scotland by City and Region Deals and interest in the “Islands Deal” proposals was reinforced by the attendance of several Ministers and a speech by Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

Commenting Liam McArthur, Tavish Scott and Alasdair Allan said: “We were delighted to co-sponsor this event which championed the assets the isles have to offer.

“Islanders have the desire and skills to come up with solutions to pressing social, economic and environmental challenges that will benefit not just the isles but the rest of Scotland and beyond.

“Strategic investment in world leading projects already based in the isles and support for future innovation will more than pay for itself.

“We will continue to make the case for investment in our communities and look forward to productive discussions as the “Islands Deal” proposals move forward.”