Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron says that decisions about how to spend a £1.7m windfall in the Western Isles must prioritise the long-term sustainability of its coastal communities.

The Scottish Conservative MSP spoke after it was announced that the money would be awarded to Comhairle nan Eilean Siar  from the Scottish Crown Estate’s marine assets following its first year of devolved management.

Mr Cameron said: “This is good news, especially in the context of the squeeze that public services have experienced in the Western Isles following years of unfair financial settlements from Nicola Sturgeon’s government.

“However, it is vital that we listen to the coastal communities and make sure that the money is spent in a way that helps to sustain them over the longer term.”

Councillor Ranald Fraser (Sgir’ Uige Agus Ceann A Tuath Nan Loch ward), said: “Here in the Western Isles, we face all kinds of challenges to securing a sustainable future for our communities and, in particular, retaining and attracting young people which are our future.

“Therefore, I am pleased that we seem to be getting this funding from the Crown Estate and hope that further co-operation can ensue as we deal with the financial challenges facing our council. “