Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Logo (with tagline Ag Obair Còmhla Airson nan Eilean)
Lews Castle

Comhairle Welcomes Levelling Up Announcement

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar welcomes the announcement in yesterday’s Autumn Budget Statement that £20 million has been allocated to the Western Isles as part of the UK Government’s Levelling up Partnership programme.

The Comhairle will work with the Government and local partners to develop a suite of deliverable projects.  There is a development phase to be worked through as part of the Levelling-Up Partnership approach, but it is anticipated that investments may include supporting strategic projects already identified through the Islands Growth Deal; supporting Culture and Heritage; supporting Net Zero and fuel poverty innovation; developing community infrastructure and supporting efforts to tackle depopulation.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, said:

“It is excellent news that we have announced the first ever Levelling Up Partnerships for Scotland that will see four local authorities each receive £20m from the UK Government for bespoke place-based regeneration, following an approach on selection developed in collaboration with Scottish government.
“I was in Stornoway just last month to chair the UK Islands Forum and I know that community leaders have strong ideas on how we can break down barriers to levelling up and improve opportunities for everyone living and working in the islands. I look forward to working directly with Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, and the Scottish Government, as we develop plans for the most impactful way to invest this £20m in the Western Isles.”

Cllr Paul Steele, Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said:

“At the UK Islands Forum the Comhairle called on all levels of Government to prioritise island communities and make funding decisions that lead to real positive long-term outcomes. This investment of £20 million has the potential to make a real difference to the Outer Hebrides and I look forward to working with the UK and Scottish Government’s to build and deliver a suite of innovative projects that will help sustain and develop the economy of the Outer Hebrides.  Across the Outer Hebrides we have a suite of transformational economic development opportunities and am I hopeful that the Levelling Up Partnership approach will be the catalyst to deliver on these opportunities and create new jobs, particularly in our more peripheral communities.”