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April 1st 2023

Islands Growth Deal announced

An agreement to invest £100 million in the future economic prosperity of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides has been signed in Orkney by UK and Scottish Government Ministers and the Council Leaders of the three island groups.

It is suggested that up to 1,300 jobs and £393 million of investment will result from the signing of the transformative Islands Growth Deal between UK Government, Scottish Government, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Shetland Islands Council, and Orkney Islands Council.

Over a ten-year period, the Islands Growth Deal will invest in 16 projects and programmes that capitalise on the Islands’ unique assets. These are built around three strategic themes of low carbon, supporting growth and future industries, and thriving sustainable communities.

Jointly funded by up to £100 million - £50 million from each of the Scottish and UK Governments - the Islands Growth Deal it is estimated will attract further investment of up to £293 million in match funding.

The Deal has been developed by the three island Councils, together with public, academic, business, community and third sector partners.

The first year of the ten-year programme is anticipated to see investment across the islands, including in UHI’s campuses in Shetland and the Outer Hebrides, and the pan-island Islands Centre for Net Zero, which will be based at the Orkney Research and Innovation Campus in Stromness.

The UK Government’s £50 million investment will be shared across the following projects:

  • £16m for Islands Centre for Net Zero
  • £11m for Outer Hebrides Energy Hub
  • £2.6m for Creative Islands Wellbeing
  • £4m for Outer Hebrides Destination Development
  • £1m for Orkney World Heritage Gateway
  • £1m for Orkney Vertical Farm
  • £4.4m for Shell-volution
  • £1.5m for TalEntEd Islands
  • £8m for Orkney Research and Innovation Campus

The deal documents can be accessed here.


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