Funding package to improve island infrastructure.
Six island local authorities will receive a share of £4.45 million to assist critical projects on climate change, population retention and tourism.
A total of 11 projects, spread across 31 islands, have received funding for the current financial year as part of the Islands Programme.
Projects include a new visitor centre and EV charging points at Old Man of Storr, nine ‘Island Pit Stops’ at Arran and Cumbrae providing better facilities for visitors, a new nursery at Kirkwall to replace an existing building earmarked for demolition and improvement of critical sea front infrastructure at Tobermory.
Announcing the funding during her visit to Orkney, Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:
“This is an important investment especially given the consequences of the cost of living crisis and climate change which are of particular concern for our islands.
“This investment will go some way in helping us support our island communities.
“I am happy to be here in Orkney, to announce the allocation of £1.5 million to the Orkney Islands Council for a brand new nursery facility.
“The new nursery will support families from both mainland Orkney and the outer isles, as well as providing opportunities for Childhood Practice Students from Orkney College.
“I wish all the successful projects the very best and look forward to following their progress.”
Scottish Futures Trust is providing support and feedback for the projects.
The funding is part of the Islands Programme, which supports the implementation of the 2019 National Islands Plan, helping to make the Scottish islands even better places to live, study, work and raise a family.
Councillor Gwenda Shearer Chair of Orkney Islands Council’s Education, Leisure and Housing Committee said:
“The funding allocation for the new nursery facility is fantastic news.
“The stated purpose of the fund is to improve quality of life in our island areas – and improved access to child care facilities for our local families really does tick that box.
“The new facility will make an enormous difference locally and we are looking forward to progressing the project.”
Tony Rose, Director for Strategy, Scottish Futures Trust said:
“Our infrastructure experts have been working with Scottish Government and the six island local authorities to ensure the Islands Programme delivers positive outcomes for island communities.
“This funding will now be invested in much-needed community infrastructure such as a low carbon children’s nursery and a circular economy social enterprise venture, that will support repopulation, economic growth and local jobs.
“Our focus now is on working with the successful applicants to see their projects come to fruition and achieve what the communities need.”