The Islands Growth Deal is the latest in a series of Region and City Deals that have been funded by UK and Scottish Government. The Islands Growth Deal is a 10 year package of investment that will seek to drive economic growth and the creation of sustainable jobs across Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. Heads of Terms for the Islands Growth Deal were signed on 17th March 2021.
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council and Shetland Islands Council have been working together on an Islands Growth Deal for a number of years following successful joint working on the ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ campaign.
The Islands Growth Deal programme includes three joint-island innovation-focused proposals in the areas of low carbon technologies; creative industries and wellbeing, and skills and talent attraction. The Islands Growth Deal contains a number of projects that are island-specific and focus on local opportunities and community priorities.
The Deal aims to harness the islands’ unique assets to create world class, innovative and globally focussed industries that will help address the islands’ severe demographic challenges and strengthen the distinct and important contribution the islands make to the economic vitality and international reputation of Scotland and the United Kingdom.
What Happens Next?
The next steps are to develop Outline and Full Business Cases. It is only at that point that projects can be started and monies begin to be released. All proposals are subject to the approval of full business cases from the relevant Government, or from both Governments in the case of jointly funded projects.
Subject to full Business Cases we would hope that funding will begin to be released to projects during financial year 2022/23.