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SNP Candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Alasdair Allan, has hailed the commitment – outlined in the SNP’s manifesto for the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections – to establish an Islands Bond to help stem depopulation.

100 bonds of up to £50,000 will be offered to young people and families to stay in or to move to islands currently threatened by depopulation. The bonds will support people to buy homes, start businesses and otherwise make their lives for the long term in these communities.

The SNP’s manifesto also contains commitments to give local authorities the powers to manage the numbers of second homes in their area; work with Community Land Scotland to find the right land to deliver more housing; deliver an Islands Connectivity Plan to replace the current Ferries Plan looking at aviation, ferries and fixed links, and to connecting and onward travel; and invest at least £30 million in a specific programme to invest in island infrastructure and support a green recovery.

Alasdair Allan commented: “Scotland’s island communities have faced an extremely difficult year. We already knew they were vulnerable to the negative impacts of Brexit, and the Covid-19 pandemic brought into sharp focus some of the very real challenges those communities face.

“The SNP has a strong record of delivery for the islands - providing more affordable homes, creating new, green jobs, and improving digital connectivity - but we know that we can go further to ensure that they remain attractive locations for people to live, work and raise families.

“If re-elected, the SNP will offer 100 bonds of up to £50,000 to young people and families to stay on or to move to islands currently threatened by depopulation.

“The bonds will support people to buy homes, start businesses and otherwise make their lives for the long-term in these communities.

“Anything we can do to reverse the depopulation trend in Scotland and encourage more people to live and work in island communities should be encouraged, especially in the face of a damaging Tory Brexit.

“Only by giving both votes to the SNP will ensure we can build stronger, more sustainable and attractive communities across the country, and put Scotland’s future and recovery from Covid-19 in Scotland’s hands - not Boris Johnson’s.”

Name of Candidate

Description of Candidate

ALLAN, Alasdair James

Scottish National Party (SNP)

BERKENHEGER, Gavin

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

FRASER, Shaun Alexander

Scottish Labour Party

MACMILLAN, Callum Ian

Time for Change

MITCHISON, Neil

Scottish Liberal Democrats