Islands share £100m investment

ORKNEY, Shetland, and the Western Isles will share £100 million of public funding once an “islands growth deal” is signed today.

The deal pulls together cash from the Scottish and UK governments.

Ministers hope the money will trigger a further £393 million of investment from businesses over the next ten years, creating up to 1,300 jobs.

Sixteen projects will share the funding, including the University of the Highlands & Islands’ (UHI’s) campuses in the Outer Hebrides and Shetland, as well as the Islands Centre for Net Zero, which will open at the Orkney Research & Innovation Campus in Stromness.

An ultra-deep water quay near Lerwick to help Shetland win more decommissioning work from the oil and gas industry is also among the schemes receiving support.

The long-trailed islands growth deal is due to be signed by the two governments later today.

Scottish business minister Ivan McKee said: “This £50m Scottish government investment will support the transition to renewable energy sources – including equipping the workforce with new skills – and trial emissions reduction initiatives on islands.

“It will drive innovation in key space, food and drink, and creative industries sectors; help develop significant tourism and cultural attractions and expand education provision.”

Scotland Office minister Lord Offord added: “This will not just boost local economies and create jobs, but also empower communities to get the most out of the many assets and attributes that make the islands such unique and special places to live.”

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