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Islands Recovery and Renewal

Plans for Arran and Cumbrae

In March 2022, we launched our ten year local Island Plans. The plans were developed with, and for, the island communities to drive the development of community, economic and environmental wellbeing of Arran and Cumbrae.

They form the foundations on which to:

  • address long standing issues and challenges
  • help maximise the potential of Arran and Cumbrae.

We put island communities at the heart of shaping the plans and engaged with:

  • residents
  • community and voluntary groups
  • young islanders
  • businesses across sectors and size
  • locality partnerships
  • Elected Members for the islands
  • partner organisations with an interest in the islands

Delivering the plans

The main aims of the plans are to:

  • keep the Islanders at their heart 
  • be delivered across island communities, businesses, third and public sector partners
  • be inclusive and participatory
  • be feasible and realistic
  • be flexible and responsive
  • be action focused
  • support the delivery of the National Islands Plan (NIP)
  • support the principles of Community Wealth Building (CWB)
  • support the transition towards Net Zero

North Ayrshire Council will drive the 3 year ‘Islands Recovery and Renewal’ pilot in partnership with the Scottish Government and Highland and Islands Enterprise to support the delivery including actions contained in the Annual Action Plans:

Scope and aims

The NIP 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
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise
  • community planning partners
  • island communities and businesses 

The post of Senior Officer (Islands) was created within North Ayrshire Council to contribute to the ongoing development and delivery of islands’ policy. This allows for local input to the NIP delivering the following aims:

  • develop, support and monitor of Local Islands Plans aligned to the Strategic Objectives of the NIP and the principles of CWB
  • develop island specific outcomes, socio-economic baselines and measurements aligned to the Scottish Government measurement of the strategic outcomes of the NlP 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 support available for communities
  • 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
  • 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 NIP delivery on other islands that are not Unitary

Islands data

The following reports outline socio-economic baseline for Arran and Cumbrae.

In September 2020, the council commissioned and published research from the Fraser of Allander Institute on the impact of Covid-19 on the Arran economy.

The council has produced an Isle of Cumbrae economy baseline report(PDF, 624kb)

These may be updated and monitored to inform an evidence-based approach to policy development.

For enquiries email Islands.