£2m for Scottish island projects

Scottish Government Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse

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A new £2 million government programme aims to help communities on the Scottish islands.

Funds have been set up to help with green projects such as low carbon transport, food sustainability and zero waste.

Announced by the Scottish Government, they are designed to help support economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

The Islands Green Recovery Programme was announced in the Programme for Government by the SNP.

It is now open for applications and is managed by four partners. The Zero Waste Scotland fund will be in charge of £300,000 to introduce packaging free shops.

The Energy Saving Trust fund will deliver £300,000 to support carbon neutral initiatives.

The Inspiring Scotland fund will offer grants totalling £900,000 to support community recovery projects, while the Highlands and Islands Enterprise fund has been awarded £500,000 to support green economic recovery.

Part of the funding will be used to help independent food retailers and businesses introduce packaging-free shops and remove the need for disposable packaging.

Sustainable travel initiatives, climate change projects and projects to improve local supply chains can also apply for funding.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Islands Minister, said: ‘We know Covid-19 has had, and continues to have, a profound impact on our island communities.

‘We want to use the learning from impacts encountered and solutions that have been identified during this pandemic to build the resilience of our island communities.

‘The Islands Green Recovery Programme will stimulate new economic activity across our islands, helping businesses recover from the impacts of the pandemic and creating new, quality jobs.

‘We know being environmentally responsible and mitigating the effects of climate change can be more expensive for people living on our islands. This investment will also help reduce that financial burden and back projects that support sustainable, on-island employment.’

Celia Tennant, chief executive of Inspiring Scotland, a venture philanthropy organisation, said: ‘We are delighted to support this programme of investment which will contribute to the economic, environmental, and social well-being of our island communities.

‘We welcome the opportunity to fund and support locally-led green projects and look forward to working with all sectors – from businesses to sole traders, from charities to community groups – to help the economic prosperity of our islands.’