Orkney MSP Liam McArthur today urged the Scottish Government to press ahead with 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 the Scottish Parliament today, Mr McArthur urged the Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs and Fair Work to detail the progress made to deliver an islands deal “so similar benefits can be reaped by Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles”.
The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that proposals are being drawn up between the Scottish Government, UK Government and Scotland’s islands authorities but he added there was a “timeline for the deals”.
Following the exchanges, Mr McArthur said:
“City and region deals have the potential to deliver real long term economic and social benefits. A possible islands deal could have a similarly transformational impact on our islands communities, not least in addressing the challenges we face in improving digital services, enhancing lifeline transport links and securing high quality health and social care.
“The Inverness City Deal, for example, looks set see £1billion of investment by the private sector on the back of a package of £315m put together by the public sector partners.
“While I recognise that the Cabinet Secretary will have a number of proposals on his desk, I will do all I can to work with him, UK Government Ministers and Orkney Islands Council to progress our bid.