Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities
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Levelling Up Secretary meeting UK island leaders on housing

The UK Government’s next Islands Forum will take place on Ynys Môn/the Isle of Anglesey in Wales on 7-8 May. The agenda for this meeting will focus on housing.

  • Participating island leaders from across the UK have been invited to meet and collaborate on shared opportunities and challenges 
  • Meeting to support island communities will take place on Ynys Môn/the Isle of Anglesey, as UK Government brings the next Islands Forum to Wales 
  • Chaired by the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, the agenda will focus this time on housing delivery for islands

The UK Government’s next Islands Forum will take place on Ynys Môn/the Isle of Anglesey in Wales on 7-8 May.  

The agenda for this meeting will focus on housing, a priority for islands – including topics such as tackling housing shortages and putting vacant properties back into use.  

Eligible council leaders and chief executives of island communities in all parts of the UK have been invited. The devolved governments will also have a key role, with ministers invited from the Scottish and Welsh governments and the Northern Ireland Executive, as well as the local MP.

The Islands Forum helps to level up island communities by encouraging collaboration on common challenges such as skills, connectivity and infrastructure, as well as exploring shared opportunities, such as the transition to net zero. It also allows the UK government to hear and learn from island communities to inform future policy. 

Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove MP recently ​said: 

Islands are distinct and vital parts of the United Kingdom, contributing a huge amount to our country.  

The Islands Forum allows island communities to come together and work with government to address key challenges and opportunities.  

Following the success of earlier forums in Orkney, the Isle of Wight, and the Isle of Lewis, I’m delighted to be bringing the forum to Wales to Ynys Môn for the first time.  

This is an opportunity to hear from islands about their unique housing challenges, and to learn more about how they are tackling them in a pioneering and dynamic way. 

Council Leader of Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn / Isle of Anglesey County Council Councillor Llinos Medi recently said: 

Ynys Môn, as Wales’ only representative on the Islands Forum, looks forward to hosting this unique gathering of island representatives from across the UK.  

It’s apt that the fourth meeting, held at County Offices in Llangefni, will focus on housing issues affecting us as island communities. 

Ynys Môn, of course, currently faces a housing crisis with homelessness rising sharply of late and many of our residents unable to afford a home on the island. We hope that collaboration with other islands, as well as both UK and Welsh Governments will benefit all attending.

Cllr Medi added:

I look forward to learning from Forum colleagues and sharing our own good practice as we provide affordable quality homes in our communities. We’re achieving this by building new Council housing stock, buying back old council-owned properties, revitalising long-term empty homes, and utilising the Council Tax premium. 

I look forward to discussing this important issue and as well as other projects under development on our island.

The next meeting in Ynys Môn/Anglesey will be the fourth Islands Forum and will be hosted by the UK Government and Cyngor Sir Ynys Môn/Isle of Anglesey County Council. The Minister for Levelling Up Jacob Young will attend with the Secretary of State Michael Gove. There will also be an opportunity for officials to offer an update on previous work of the forum including by improving physical and digital connectivity for island communities.

The forum comes alongside the UK Government’s strong support for island communities in all parts of the country, such as through the Levelling Up Partnership with Argyll & Bute and Na h-Eileanan an Iar, through the Long-Term Plan for Towns investment in Ryde (Isle of Wight) and Kirkwall (Orkney Islands), the Levelling Up Fund investments such as the Shetland Islands’ Fair Isle Ferry, the Isle of Wight’s Green Link, the Islands Growth deal, the Freeport in Anglesey, and the funding secured for the museum and cultural centre on the Isles of Scilly.

Notes to Editors: 

Invitations have been sent to island representatives from: 

  • England: Isle of Wight Council, Council of the Isles of Scilly
  • Wales: Isle of Anglesey County Council
  • Scotland: Highland Council, North Ayrshire Council, Argyll & Bute Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, Shetland Islands Council
  • Northern Ireland: Rathlin Development & Community Association, NI Department for Infrastructure


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