Having previously made representations on behalf of Arran’s residents and businesses regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Kenneth asked Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing MSP on Wednesday about reducing the impact of COVID-19 on the island’s economy and ferry services in particular.
The Fraser of Allander Institute has identified that on average, each day of ferry operation contributes just under £170,000 to Arran’s economy - more than £62 million a year and Kenneth asked how the Scottish Government can optimise the ferry service and if the Cabinet Secretary can go even further than he has already gone in supporting island businesses, to ensure that Arran’s economy survives and can ultimately thrive.
The Cabinet Secretary referred to the Scottish Government’s £30 million pledge to deliver the national islands plan and its new £2 million islands green recovery programme and recognised the fact that the ferry is a lifeline service, saying:
“I know that Mr Gibson, who has been a forthright advocate for Arran over the years, will continue to ensure that the arguments are kept to the fore.”
To view the exchange in its entirety, click on video.