Both Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MSP Alasdair Allan and Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Donald Cameron have spoken of the need for more detail about UK Government funding for the three island councils as part of the Islands Deal.
This follows yesterday’s announcement from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s visit to Scotland that £300 million would be put towards Growth Deals, including the Islands Deal.
Alasdair Allan MSP commented: “There was a frightening lack of detail available in yesterday’s statement by the Prime Minister, a failing which I suspect will be characteristic of his premiership.
“The statement issued yesterday implies that the £300 million announced will be split across the three City Region Deals in Scotland - the three island authorities, Falkirk and Argyll & Bute - and the four City Region Deals proposed for Northern Ireland.
"When you consider that the Inverness-Highland Deal alone totalled around £300 million, it is obvious that this is not nearly enough for seven meaningful deals."
The additional £300m of new funding was announced by Mr Johnson while on a visit to Scotland, where he met with Armed Forced personnel at Faslane, and held separate meetings with Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Since the Growth Deal scheme was first launched, some £2.78bn have already been committed, with the new funding announced taking it over the £3bn mark.
Donald Cameron MSP said: “This announcement from the Prime Minister is very welcome news, and I know there will be a lot of people across the islands who will be delighted to hear this.
"This is a prime example of the commitment of the UK Government to supporting economic growth in some of the most rural parts of Scotland.
"Obviously the devil is in the detail, and I look forward to engaging with the Scotland Office further on that matter, and working with the three island authorities to see how best we can capitalise on the Deal.”
Mr Allan said: “The three Island Councils have been working together for some time to take forward a Deal for the Islands. A contribution of the scale implied by yesterday’s statement would severely curtail their ambitions.
“Having dragged its feet on the Islands Deal for far too long, the UK Government must urgently disclose the full details of yesterday’s announcement to the island councils and commit to giving the islands their fair share.”