A new action plan aimed at improving life on Scotland’s island communities has been published by ministers.
The new National Islands Plan implementation route map was delayed due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And while it sets out 13 key objectives aimed at making life on the islands better, the Scottish Government states that the route map “does not yet include details of the investment required to deliver our commitments in the National Islands Plan”.
Instead, it says the new document will “inform future Scottish Government spending and investment”.
The route map outlines 13 key objectives for improvement, including dealing with population decline, improving transport, providing better housing and tackling fuel poverty, as well as improving digital connectivity.
Some of these can be delivered in a “short timescale” the document states, with work in the next two years, but others will take five years or more before changes can be made.
Islands minister, Paul Wheelhouse, said the last year had been challenging for everyone, adding that “island communities in particular have been, and continue to be, impacted by Covid-19”.
He said: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank our island communities for their resilience in response to the pandemic and for their continued dedication to combating this virus.”
The minister added: “The implementation route map will be published as a living document to enable it to respond to fresh challenges and changing circumstances as they arise.
“We will continue to work closely with key stakeholders to ensure that the voices of islanders are fully heard as we look to bring into reality the aspirations of those islanders who helped shape the National Islands Plan and all the objectives within it.”