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Politics / Extra island funding pledged as first minister to take trip to Shetland

SCOTLAND’s new first minister John Swinney is set to make a visit to Shetland today (Friday), where he will announce a £5 million funding package for Scotland’s island communities.

The Scottish Government said this will support island communities to “tackle local issues and invest in new opportunities that will help deliver a more prosperous future”.

While in Shetland, the first minister will announce:

  • A new £1 million scheme to support the six carbon neutral islands – which includes Yell – to reach net zero by 2040
  • An additional £1 million round of the Island Cost Crisis Emergency Fund to help communities tackle increasing costs, distributed to the six island authorities on a population basis, helping to tackle poverty
  • An additional £3 million funding to support locally designed critical island infrastructure projects

Swinney said: “I have made it clear that I will be first minister for everyone in Scotland – including our island communities who face a number of unique challenges but have enormous potential.

“Islanders have been clear that more needs to be done to help them fulfil their ambitions and that is why we are developing a new National islands Plan, to be published next year.

“We will listen to island communities, and speak with local authorities to ensure the new plan meets their needs.

“In the meantime we will continue to invest in our Islands Programme, which over the last three financial years, has distributed over £12 million to support of 61 projects on 50 islands.”

Swinney was sworn in as first minister earlier this month following the resignation of Humza Yousaf.

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