Addressing depopulation on Scotland’s islands
Launch of consultation.
A consultation seeking the views of people from across Scotland on the proposed Islands Bond has been published.
The Islands Bond aims to tackle population decline across the Scottish islands and provide funding to help people stay on or move to the islands.
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and has been launched to ensure that the Bond provided is meaningful and works for all the islands.
Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon yesterday said:
“The Islands Bond will help us to deliver on some of the commitments from the National Islands Plan. It’s a way for us to address some of the key financial barriers for people who want to live on our islands.
“Each of our islands are unique and this consultation will help us understand some of the population challenges across our islands and make sure that we can properly address them. It will also provide information to enable us to set up a relocation support or advisory service and make the move for people as smooth as possible.
“I’d encourage people across Scotland, especially those on our islands, to provide a response to this consultation and make sure their voices are heard to help shape the Bond.
“As well as delivering this consultation, we’ll continue to engage with local authorities, island communities and other relevant stakeholders as we develop the bond.”
The consultation will run from 2 August 2021 until 24 October 2021.
The proposed outline of the Islands Bond:
- The bond will be a £5 million fund across the lifetime of the parliament
- The bond value will be up to £50,000
- Capital funding will be made available to young people and families to stay in or move to islands currently threatened by depopulation
- Bonds issued will support people to buy, build or renovate homes, start businesses and otherwise make their lives for the long-term in island communities
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