The UK and Scottish governments have signed an investment agreement that could deliver a £335m boost for Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides.
UK Government minister for Scotland Iain Stewart yesterday joined the Scottish government’s cabinet secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, and leaders of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, and Shetland Islands Council to sign the Heads of Terms for the Islands Growth Deal.
The agreement outlines plans for the UK and Scottish governments to each invest £50m in the Scottish islands of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides. This 10-year programme of investment is anticipated to unlock a further £235m from project partners, delivering a combined £335m boost for the islands.
It is also aimed at creating up to 1,300 jobs and tackling the depopulation concerns facing many parts of the three island archipelagos.
Yesterday, Mr Stewart commented: ‘Today we have signed a transformational deal which will bring jobs, investment and innovation to communities across all three island areas.
‘These exciting plans show the path to a fairer, more sustainable, more prosperous future as we build back better from the pandemic.
‘The UK Government’s £50m investment will boost green jobs and innovation in: sustainable energy, health, tourism, food and drink, and decarbonisation.
‘Across Scotland we have committed more than £1.5bn to Growth Deals.’