District News, January 14 2022

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Funding to help islanders live healthier lifestyles

People living on Scottish islands will benefit from community-led wellness initiatives designed to support them to live healthier lifestyles.

The Healthy Islands Fund will help to deliver these initiatives with just over £1.3 million of Scottish Government funding from the wider £30 million Islands Programme.

The fund is managed by Inspiring Scotland with 56 projects spanning across 35 islands.

Projects focus on building local capacity to increase well-being, foster connections and promote healthy and resilient islanders and communities – helping them to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘It’s important that local communities have initiatives that can promote participation and equality in physical activity, as we’ve outlined in our National Islands Plan,’ said Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon MSP.

‘We need to ensure that these are locally-led and community groups are often best placed to provide these services on our islands.

‘The projects that we are funding will help encourage people to live healthier lifestyles and improve their resilience.

‘I’m so grateful to the groups for applying to help to improve the lives of the people living across Scotland’s islands and I can’t wait to see them in action.’

MSP Mairi Gougeon.

Inspiring Scotland chief executive officer Celia Tennant added: ‘Inspiring Scotland is delighted to be the delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s Healthy Islands Fund which supports the aims and outcomes of the National Islands Plan and builds on the work of the Scottish Government’s Island Communities Fund.

‘The 56 successful Healthy Island Fund projects delivered on 35 islands will support our island communities to engage in healthy lifestyle choices and in turn support their physical and mental wellbeing.’


Argyll firm cruises to awards win

An Argyll firm offering cruises exploring Scotland’s west coast has won the title Best Small Boat Charter Cruise Operator 2021 in an end-of-year awards scheme.

Dunoon-based Argyll Cruising scooped the title at the Scottish Enterprise Awards, run by digital business publication SME News.

Now in its fourth year, the Scottish Enterprise Awards recognise small and medium-sized businesses.

‘It is always an honour to shine a light on businesses that offer more and help the local economy and community grow,’ said awards co-ordinator Dean Taylor. ‘We can’t wait to see what you do next.’

Operating from both the Holy Loch Marina in Sandbank and from Oban, Argyll Cruises offers, in its words, ‘a highly personalised cruising experience’ with cruises for a maximum of eight guests, from three to 13 nights, among the beautiful islands and stunning sea lochs of Argyll.

In a social media post the company said: ‘We’re starting 2022 in a very happy place!

‘We’re delighted to have won the award. Thank you so much SME News, we’re over the moon.’