£1.4 million Cost Crisis Emergency Fund launched to support island communities

Secretary for Rural Affairs Mairi Gougeon

ISLANDERS most impacted by the cost of living crisis will be able to access additional help.

The Islands Cost Crisis Emergency Fund will target immediate support to those who are struggling due to the cost of living crisis, either through existing schemes or new support.

The Fund was identified as part of the Emergency Budget Review announced last month as the cost of living on islands is higher when compared to the mainland. Funding is being allocated directly to the six island local authorities to support the needs of their communities.

Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon said:

“Islands already experience higher costs of living, with some estimates around 20-65 per cent higher than the UK average, with higher fuel costs, a colder climate and the lack of consumer choice intensifying the impact of the cost crisis on islanders.

“This fund was developed to enable Local Authorities to take urgent action in helping mitigate the impacts of the cost of living crisis on households.  

“I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment in getting this fund rolled out as quickly as possible and I hope it can provide support to those who need it the most.”

Sheila McKandie, Head of Revenues & Customer Services at the Highland Council, said:

“Highland Council very much welcome the Island Cost Crisis Emergency Fund award.

“This will supplement existing funds and help in providing further support to our island communities.”

James Stockan, Council Leader at Orkney Islands Council, said:

“As we head into winter, households right across our community are facing rising bills, increasing costs, and tough choices. This financial support from the Scottish Government is a welcome boost as we face these challenges. 

“Our share of the fund is £305,000, of which £65,000 must be capital spend – elected members and officials will now be taking the time to determine how best we spend all of this fund to provide the optimum benefit for our community.”

Funding allocation:

Local Authority Resource (000)Capital (000)
Argyll & Bute 15542
Highland 11532
Na h-Eileanan Siar28377
North Ayrshire6317
Shetland 24467

(This funding is for the 2022/23 financial year)

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