Updated: Swinney’s flight fails to land

A planned visit to Shetland by First Minister John Swinney had to be called off, because his flight was unable to land at Sumburgh Airport.

Mr Swinney was flying to Shetland to announce a new £5 million funding package for island communities.

The support is being made to tackle rising costs and invest in infrastructure.

But his flight was forced to turn back before it could land in Shetland.

In a statement, the Scottish government said: “Due to the weather in Shetland the plane carrying the first minister was unable to land. He looks forward to visiting Shetland in the near future.”

Mr Swinney was due to announce a new £1 million scheme to support the six carbon neutral islands – of which Yell is one – helping them to reach net zero by 2040.

An additional £1 million round of the Island Cost Crisis Emergency Fund will also help communities tackle increasing costs.

Mr Swinney was also due to visit social enterprise group COPE Ltd to announce a further £3 million funding to support locally designed critical island infrastructure projects.

The funding will help island communities tackle local issues and invest in new opportunities.

The Scottish government said the move would reflect the first minister’s four priorities of eradicating child poverty, growing the economy, investing in green energy and infrastructure and improving public services. 

Mr Swinney said: “I have made it clear that I will be first minister for everyone in Scotland – including our island communities who face a number of unique challenges but have enormous potential.

“Islanders have been clear that more needs to be done to help them fulfil their ambitions and that is why we are developing a new national islands plan, to be published next year.

“We will listen to island communities, and speak with local authorities to ensure the new plan meets their needs.

“In the meantime we will continue to invest in our islands programme, which over the last three financial years, has distributed over £12 million to support of 61 projects on 50 islands.”


Get Latest News in Your Inbox

Join the The Shetland Times mailing list to get one daily email update at midday on what's happening in Shetland.