Scotland has over 790 islands and more than 10,000 miles of coastline. Our islands are home to stunning scenery, world-famous whisky distilleries, and fantastic musical and cultural festivals.
Here are just some of the ways the SNP are delivering for our island communities.
- An Islands Bill is making its way through Parliament, to require the creation of a National Islands Plan and to place a duty to ‘island-proof’ future government policies, strategies and legislation.
- We have introduced a Crown Estate Bill that will, if passed, give communities more of a say in how assets are managed and open up the possibility of local authorities and communities taking control of the management themselves.
We’ve invested a record £1 billion in vessels, ports and ferry services, reduced ferry fares across all routes in the Clyde and Hebrides network.
We’ve frozen fares on Northern Isles ferries and, in 2018, we’ll introduce a scheme to reduce fares. Foot passenger fares will fall by an average of more than 40 per cent and car fares by an average of more than 30 per cent.
Residents of Caithness and north-west Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are also eligible for a 50 per cent discount on air fares.
- To support the building on new affordable housing in island communities, we are investing £5 million in an Islands Housing Fund. We’re also investing £25 million to build new homes and refurbish existing ones through our Rural Housing Fund.
- We’re committed to promoting food and drink from our islands with a £5 million fund.
- Our MPs are standing up for islands communities at Westminster too. We will continue to call on the UK government to regulate for fair delivery charges for rural communities.
- SNP MPs will campaign for better mobile phone coverage, supporting a summit on mobile phone “not spots” to bring service providers and the UK government together to improve mobile connectivity.
- And we’ll campaign for a UK government funding commitment to a Deal for the Islands of Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.