HIE has approved £0.5m support from the Scottish Government’s Islands Green Recovery Programme (IGRP) and a further £249k from its own budget.
The IGRP is a £2m fund to support locally-led green projects designed to help support their economic recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It is split into four strands and managed by four partners, delivering investment in low carbon transport, food sustainability and zero waste projects.
The £0.5m HIE element is to support green economic recovery across the region’s island communities. It has been awarded to emerging projects that will contribute to the transition to a carbon neutral region.
In Orkney, several development trusts and Orkney Fishermens Society will benefit from a total grant of £135,000.
Three projects in Shetland, by Bressay Development Trust, SFTCT T/A NAFC Marine Centre and EMN Plant, have been awarded a total of £132,000.
In the Western Isles, Gallan Head Community Trust will receive £9,390 towards conversion and decarbonisation of a community building, while CBaB in Barra secured £96,000 for seaweed cultivation using community energy and repurposed fish farm infrastructure.
In Highland, Sleat Community Trust on Skye was awarded £59,547 for insulating and decarbonising the community shop building, while Eigg Trading (Community Development Trust) is to receive £68,000 for heat decarbonisation of community showers and laundry facilities.
HIE has also approved a further £249,368 for seven community-led green recovery projects in Shetland, Orkney, Highland and Argyll to help support local jobs. These include initiatives to increase the availability of electric bike hire and electric vehicle charging points.
Zoe Laird, HIE’s regional head of communities infrastructure, said:
“Some of the biggest impacts of the pandemic have been felt on our islands and it’s important that support is available to help them recover. These important projects will support a green recovery and the transition to a carbon-neutral region. They will benefit many communities across a dispersed population and contribute to the longer-term recovery from the impacts of the pandemic.
“I am very pleased we have been able to provide support and look forward to seeing the benefits arise as the projects take shape.”