Island communities in Scotland will benefit from a £2 million programme of locally-led green projects designed to help support their economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Islands Green Recovery Programme, announced in the Scottish Programme for Government and now open for applications, is split into four strands and managed by four partners, delivering investment in low carbon transport, food sustainability and zero waste projects.
Islands Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, commented on the announcement “We know that 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.”
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.
Chief Executive of venture philanthropy organisation Inspiring Scotland Celia Tennant added:
“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.”
The £2 million is shared between:
- Zero Waste Scotland fund – £300,000 to introduce packaging-free shops
- Energy Saving Trust fund – £300,000 to support carbon neutral initiatives
- Inspiring Scotland fund – £900,000 to support community recovery projects
- Highlands and Islands Enterprise fund – £500,000 to support green economic recovery