Creating resilient and sustainable islands

Beach sea view across north Uist. Blue skies and clear waters
Sophie Law

Through the £2 million Island Communities Fund, 29 successful community groups and businesses across 23 islands have been awarded grants of up to £150,000 each.

Projects focus on developing sustainable economic activities on islands with the majority of projects having a net zero theme, while also supporting the delivery of the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan (2019).

Projects include the installation of a range of spinning mills to allow full processing of fleece into yarn on Foula, which will use electricity from Foula’s off grid renewable network, as well as a project to expand a community garden on Lewis to improve mental health opportunities and reduce social isolation.

Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“With just a few weeks until the eyes of the world are on Scotland for COP26, it’s great to see more projects designed to address the growing climate crisis. There is so much potential across our islands and we received many innovative and creative applications. It’s clear to me that our island communities are going to play an important role in helping us meet our ambitious climate change targets and I am excited about that. 

“The projects that have been awarded funding will contribute to our ambition to make Scotland greener and fairer. They will help us achieve a just transition to net zero and climate resilient living on our islands. I’m looking forward to seeing work get underway to help people, businesses and communities on our islands thrive.”

Inspiring Scotland CEO Celia Tennant said:

“Inspiring Scotland is delighted to be the delivery partner for the Scottish Government’s Island Communities Fund which supports the aims and outcomes of the National Islands Plan. The successful funded organisations will make a vital contribution to the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of our island communities and we are looking forward to working alongside them to deliver their projects.”

The Fund is managed by Inspiring Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. It is backed by £2 million of Scottish Government funding, which comes from the £9.5 million committed to the Islands Programme for 2021/22.

Projects should be completed by 31 March 2022.

Find out more, plus a full list of successful applicants here.