Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today urged the Scottish Government to continue supporting efforts to prepare an islands deal.
Across the country the UK Government, Scottish Government and local authorities have agreed joint-deals with the aim of developing long term economic growth and creating local jobs.
Speaking in response to a ministerial statement in the Scottish Parliament today, Mr McArthur welcomed ongoing discussions on an islands deal and said he “hoped it would cover, among other things, the need for improvements in internal ferry services”.
Orkney’s MSP also asked the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work to ensure the Scottish Futures Trust continues to engage with the islands authorities on the development of these proposals and called for “a primary point of contact” within the Scottish Government for the islands authorities to deliver an islands deal.
The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that the Scottish Futures Trust would “remain engaged” and would inform the island authorities of the officials responsible for city and region deals.
Following the exchanges, Mr McArthur said:
“A possible islands deal has the potential to deliver real long term economic and social benefits for our island communities.
“I therefore welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement and confirmation of the government’s ongoing support for an islands deal. There are a number of city and region deals to negotiate, but I will do all I can, working with OIC and the Scottish and UK Governments to ensure that Orkney and the other island communities are not left behind in this process.”