A £100 million investment in the future economic prosperity of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides has been agreed, as representatives of the UK and Scottish governments joined the Leaders of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, and Shetland Island Council to sign the Heads of Terms for the Islands Growth Deal.
The agreement commits both governments to work collaboratively with Islands Deal partners to deliver a deal focused on: placing the islands at the forefront of the transition to net zero; supporting growth in key sectors of opportunity such as tourism, food and drink, space and creative industries; and, supporting thriving, sustainable communities.
The Islands Growth Deal will capitalise on the Islands’ unique assets with an investment of £50 million each from the Scottish and UK Governments and an anticipated £235 million from project partners. The 10-year programme of investment has the ambitious target of creating up to 1,300 jobs and tackling the depopulation concerns facing many parts of the three island archipelagos. Partners will now be working towards the development of Full Business Cases for approval by both Governments, with the anticipation of funding being approved and released from 2022/23 onwards.
The council, UK and Scottish Governments agreed the ‘Heads of Terms’ on 17th March 2021. This sets out the general areas for investment.