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Islands Recovery and Renewal
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Islands Recovery and Renewal

Draft Local Island Plans
(open for comment)

The Local Island Plans are ten-year plan with a long-term strategic focus developed with and for the island communities, and whilst the aims and objectives of the Plans may remain for the duration of the plan, the associated actions will be reviewed annually and updated as required. 

We hope that you recognise and share the vision, priorities and ambitions for the islands that have been prepared with island stakeholders.

From 29 November 2021 until 4 January 2022 (5pm), we welcome final comments on the draft documents and would appreciate receiving examples of case studies or projects you are involved in, further island actions relating to economic, community and environmental wellbeing your group or organisation is undertaking and any further contributions you can provide to support the successful delivery of the Local Island Plans – please email and share your input.   

Should you require a paper copy of any of these documents, please visit your local library on Arran or Millport and a member of the team will be pleased to print one for you.

For enquiries get in touch at


North Ayrshire Islands Recovery & Renewal Pilot 

With the introduction of the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 (the ‘Act’) and the National Islands Plan (NIP), which sets out how Scottish Government, local authorities and other public agencies will work to improve outcomes for island communities, we identified an opportunity to test new ways of working across island communities and businesses, local government, Scottish Government (SG), community planning partners and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to deliver the ambitious objectives outlined in the Act and NIP, as well as to provide national and international learning.

We are now participating in an ambitious three-year Islands Recovery and Renewal Pilot in partnership with the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support an inclusive and green economic recovery and renewal of North Ayrshire’s island communities in line with their unique needs. The pilot project is aligned to the delivery of the National Islands Plan and Community Wealth Building (CWB) principles.

A key area of focus within the pilot is working in partnership with island communities, businesses, and wider stakeholders to develop and facilitate the delivery of 10-year island plans to maximise the potential of North Ayrshire’s islands. It is essential that the island plans reflect strategic synergies and the support of joint working approaches based on existing partnerships, to ensure complementarity and avoid overlap or duplication of other local and regional activities, plans and strategies.

Pilot partners

The pilot partners are:

  • North Ayrshire Council (NAC)
  • Scottish Government (SG)
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE)

Pilot scope and aims

The National Islands Plan published in December 2019 provides a framework and 13 strategic objectives for action in order to meaningfully improve outcomes for island communities. This provides an opportunity to test new ways of working across local government, Scottish Government, HIE, community planning partners island communities and businesses to deliver the ambitious objectives outlined in the NIP, as well as share this learning with other island areas.

As part of this pilot, the post of Senior Officer (Islands) was created within North Ayrshire Council to contribute to the ongoing development and delivery of islands’ policy, working across the public sector with island communities, businesses and with a range of external stakeholders to tackle long-standing place-based issues relating to island communities This allows for local input to the National Islands Plan delivery, progress of which the post holder will monitor.

The pilot will deliver the following aims:

  • develop, support and monitor of Local Islands Plans for both Arran and Cumbrae aligned to the Strategic Objectives of the National Islands Plan (NIP) and the principles of Community Wealth Building
  • develop island specific outcomes, socio-economic baselines and measurements aligned to the Scottish Government measurement of the strategic outcomes of the National Islands Plan including as part of the National Performance Framework
  • support the recovery and renewal of the islands from the social and economic impact of Covid-19 and maximise the support available for island communities, including targeting partner resources to address specific recovery priorities particularly in business resilience, supporting the identification and preparation of bids to access external funding working alongside wider Council services including business development and regeneration
  • contribute to closer and more coordinated working between the island communities, community planning partners, national and local government and agencies to ensure stronger place-based partnership working and a whole systems approach to improve island wellbeing, including in areas such as housing and transportation and the implementation of the NIP
  • ensure the understanding and representation of the unique needs of islands’ communities in local and national policy development and encourage strategic island planning at all levels
  • develop North Ayrshire island representation within the Scottish Rural Network working with other partners such as Scottish Rural Action and the Scottish Islands Federation, with a focus on young people and young islanders’ networks
  • collaborate with national and international partners as appropriate to ensure a model of best practice and develop a model to inform National Islands Plan delivery on other islands that are not Unitary

Islands data

To support the development of each Island Plan, the Council commissioned and published research from the Fraser of Allander Institute on the disproportionate economic impact of Covid-19 on the Arran economy in September 2020.

The Council has recently undertaken an economic baseline exercise for Cumbrae economy (PDF, 624kb)

Both reports provide an outline socio-economic baseline for Arran and Cumbrae that can be updated and monitored moving forward to inform an evidence-based approach to policy development.