The SNP Government has announced a £4 million funding package to help improve infrastructure on Arran, Cumbrae and Scotland’s other islands.
North Ayrshire Council and the other island councils can apply for funding to aid the improvement, creation or safeguarding of locally developed infrastructure projects.
The package is part of the SNP Government’s £30 million Islands Programme, established to support the implementation of the first ever National Islands Plan, published in December 2019.
This is the SNP Government’s landmark strategy to improve the quality of life for island communities with 13 objectives, and over 100 specific measures to address population decline, tackle climate change and improve transport, housing, the delivery of public services and digital connectivity.
Over the next 12 months, the SNP Government will furthermore an Action Plan to address Depopulation. This is a topic Kenneth has raised with Scottish Ministers repeatedly.
Arran’s MSP Kenneth Gibson said:
“I welcome this £4 million investment from the £30 million National Islands Plan infrastructure investment fund for North Ayrshire and other island councils.
“This funding is complemented by ongoing investments designed to support those living on Arran and Scotland’s islands, and will involve communities in the decisions on how and where investments are made.
“The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on our islands. The many challenges that communities have faced have been varied and that is why I am committed to delivering the National Islands Plan in partnership with our island partners.
“I have no doubt North Ayrshire Council’s officers will work hard to submits a high quality proposal to benefit Arran.”
£4 million is committed against the Islands Programme for the financial year of 2022/23. The Programme will be delivered in partnership with local government and open to applications from the six island local authorities. It will follow a competitive process in partnership with the local authorities with a submission deadline date of 10 June 2022.
An Investment Panel will be established to assess and make recommendations for annual awards. The investment panel will receive strategic direction from the Scottish Government Islands Team and the ‘Islands Programme’ Programme Board. Final decision-making rests with SNP Government Ministers.