PROJECTS designed to stimulate economic activity, boost tourism and improve community assets in Scotland’s island communities are to receive a £4.1 million funding boost.

A total of 13 initiatives will benefit from the funding including a community recycling hub on Shetland and the construction of new accommodation for workers in Mull.

Over £700,000 is also to be used to help preserve the 18th-century Garrison House complex in Millport.

Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon announced the news whilst attending a conference on sustainable islands in Shetland.

“I recognise the continued resilience shown by islanders in response to the climate and cost of living crises but I am mindful that ongoing support is needed in order to ensure the long term sustainability of our island communities”, she said.

“This new funding displays our commitment to enact our National Islands Plan across all six island authorities in Scotland in order to tackle island depopulation, boost local economies and bolster tourism.

“I look forward to seeing the positive impact that the projects will have in their respective communities.”

Other projects include the Canna Hub which will help redevelop a former coal store beside Canna pier to create a reception hub and accessible facilities to support the sustainable growth of the island’s economy.

Elsewhere, £750,000 is being invested into infrastructure to provide accommodation for workers on Mull with several essential positions in the community currently left unfilled.

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A bike park is also to be created in Arran to provide the opportunity for residents and visitors to engage in cycling.

North Ayrshire Council leader Marie Burns said: “We’re absolutely delighted to receive funding for two projects of major significance on the islands of Cumbrae and Arran.  

“This will secure the future of the historic Garrison House in Millport, allowing it to be enjoyed by future generations.

“We’ll work closely with Cumbrae Community Development Company to deliver the much-needed conservation work and improvements.

“And we are also thrilled to accept funding which will support the creation of an accessible, all-weather bike park at Dyemill on Arran.”

The leader of the Shetland Islands Council Emma MacDonald was also pleased with the investment.

“The projects which we put forward for consideration were developed and driven by local communities, and address vital issues for our future such as employment support for vulnerable people, regeneration of community assets, food security, and addressing climate change through the circular economy.

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“The news will be an incredible boost for these groups and we can’t wait to see the projects in action.”

On Harris, there are plans to upgrade the Hebrides People Visitor Centre to provide a quality attraction in South Harris.