Consultation launches seeking views on ‘Islands Bond’ plan to tackle depopulation

People are being urged to give their views on an initiative aimed to tackle depopulation in Scottish islands. 

The Scottish government consultation into the proposed “Islands Bond” launched today (Monday) and will run for 12 weeks. 

It is aimed to ensure the bond is “meaningful and works for all the islands”.

Under the current proposals, £5million will be made available to help young people and families stay in or move to islands currently threatened by depopulation.

Bonds of up to £50,000 will be available to help people buy, build or renovate homes, start business and make their lives for the long-term in island communities. 

Islands secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “The Islands Bond will help us to deliver on some of the commitments from the National Islands Plan. It’s a way for us to address some of the key financial barriers for people who want to live on our islands.

“Each of our islands are unique and this consultation will help us understand some of the population challenges across our islands and make sure that we can properly address them. It will also provide information to enable us to set up a relocation support or advisory service and make the move for people as smooth as possible.

“I’d encourage people across Scotland, especially those on our islands, to provide a response to this consultation and make sure their voices are heard to help shape the Bond.

“As well as delivering this consultation, we’ll continue to engage with local authorities, island communities and other relevant stakeholders as we develop the bond.”

Visit the website to take part in the consultation, which runs until 24th October.


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