Islay, Ulva and Gigha benefit from green fund

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People living on Scotland’s islands will benefit from new funding for projects designed to support employment, community resilience, health and wellbeing.

Through the £2 million Island Communities Fund, 29 successful community groups and businesses across 23 islands have been awarded grants of up to £150,000 each.

Projects focus on developing sustainable economic activities on islands with the majority of projects having a net zero theme, while also supporting the delivery of the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan (2019).

Projects include the installation of a range of spinning mills to allow full processing of fleece into yarn on Foula, which will use electricity from Foula’s off-grid renewable network, as well as a project to expand a community garden on Lewis to improve mental health opportunities and reduce social isolation.

Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: ‘With just a few weeks until the eyes of the world are on Scotland for COP26, it’s great to see more projects designed to address the growing climate crisis.

‘There is so much potential across our islands and we received many innovative and creative applications. It’s clear to me that our island communities are going to play an important role in helping us meet our ambitious climate change targets and I am excited about that.

‘The projects that have been awarded funding will contribute to our ambition to make Scotland greener and fairer. They will help us achieve a just transition to net zero and climate resilient living on our islands. I’m looking forward to seeing work get under way to help people, businesses and communities on our islands thrive.’

Four projects in Argyll and Bute – Gigha’s Active Travel Hub, Cornabus Tree Nursery (Islay), Ulva Housing Refurbishment Project and Islay Leisure’s resilience and sustainability are to receive significant funding boosts.

Argyll and Bute MSP Jenni Minto said: ‘Our island communities play such a huge role in leading the way to tackle the climate crisis. I am delighted to see these wonderful projects here in Argyll and Bute receiving the recognition and support they deserve from the Scottish Government and can’t wait to see them progress.’