The Empowering Scotland’s Island Communities prospectus was published in June 2014 and was a key output from the Island Areas Ministerial Working Group. The Group developed the proposals based on three underpinning objectives:
- promoting islands voice;
- harnessing island resources; and
- enhancing islands wellbeing.
The package of proposals were also applicable to other comparable parts of Scotland - and, especially, nearly all are applicable to the other island communities within Highland, Argyll and Bute and North Ayrshire local authority areas.
The prospectus was launched by the then First Minister, Alex Salmond at Orkney College. Mr Salmond said:
"Today’s prospectus is the most comprehensive package for empowering Scotland’s island communities that has been put forward by any Government. It recognises the unique contribution that island communities make to modern Scotland, and also the distinctive needs and priorities they have."
"Most of all, though, it recognises that Scotland’s islands have huge potential – a wealth of culture and history; stunning landscapes; massive renewable energy resources; and a host of successful businesses in sectors such as food and drink, life sciences and tourism."
"We are determined to work with the islands communities to unleash that potential and to create a sustainable and prosperous future. By doing so, we will honour the principles of subsidiarity and local decision-making at the heart of the Lerwick Declaration. And even more importantly, we will help to build wealthier and fairer island communities, as part of a wealthier and fairer Scotland."