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Members of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee this week approved the next phase in the local authority’s approach to engagement on the Skye and Raasay Investment Plan.
The preparation of this place-based investment plan for the area seeks to ensure that public sector agencies, businesses, community interest groups and the wider community work together to agree a joined-up investment plan which supports economic recovery and addresses the unique challenges Skye and Raasay face.
Members also agreed a proposal to refer a final draft of the plan to a future meeting for approval.
Chairman of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee, Councillor John Gordon, said that for Skye and Raasay to retain their reputations as internationally renowned sustainable tourism destinations a co-ordinated approach is required to identify priorities and investment.
‘A strong and diverse economy with a range of employment opportunities will promote wellbeing and attract investment,’ said Councillor Gordon.
‘Access to modern digital connections and a high-quality transport network is vital to ensure the areas are competitive and support wider ambitions for both.’
Report author and executive chief officer for infrastructure and environment, Malcolm MacLeod, added: ‘This plan helps strengthen communities to make them strong, capable and resourceful which are properly housed. This is vital for the social and economic growth of both areas.
And the ability to deliver modern health and education facilities ensures the areas are resilient and attractive places to live.’
A simple four-step approach to engagement is proposed including: re-affirming/ checking the priorities and outcomes for the area; consider the projects in terms of their benefits, cost, value for money, cross-over and interdependencies with other projects; identifying funding options for delivery and addressing budget gaps; identify responsibilities and timescales for deliver in the short, medium and long term.
The proposed engagement events will be carried out in two stages during December and early January. The first event will involve lead partners, agencies, development trusts, project leads and key community representatives.
The second event would broaden the audience to include the wider public and any other interested parties. All events will be held online. Interactive mapping may be used to engage the audience and act as a forum for collating feedback.
The investment plan will be finalised at the start of 2021 and a final draft is intended to be presented to the Area Committee on March 1 for approval.
Chairman of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee, Councillor John Gordon.