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Scottish Women’s Convention launches survey on Islands Bond

Women's views are being called for, ahead of a new Island Bond to help keep young people and families on Scottish islands. Picture Sandy McCook.
Women's views are being called for, ahead of a new Island Bond to help keep young people and families on Scottish islands. Picture Sandy McCook.

A group working to keep young people living on Scottish islands wants to hear the voices of women.

The Scottish Women’s Convention is asking women for their personal experiences about life in island communities and how they think the proposed Islands Bond can be implemented.

The Islands Bond is an initiative by the Scottish Government to keep young people on the islands, rather than them being forced to move away due to housing and employment issues.

The scheme will involve 100 bonds of up to £50,000 being given to young people and families in order to encourage them to stay in, or move to, the islands currently threatened by depopulation.

A survey has now been launched for feedback and the Scottish Women’s Convention is urging women to have their say.

They wrote on social media: “As part of ongoing consultations about the proposed Islands Bond, we are collaborating with the Agriculture and Rural Economy Directorate to ensure that women’s voices are heard and represented.

“We would like to hear your personal experiences about life in island communities and how you think the Islands Bond can be implemented most effectively.”

To take part in the survey follow this link.

What is an Island Bond?

The Islands Bond aims to address the issue of depopulation through delivering a direct intervention responding to some of the key financial barriers to remaining in, or moving to, the islands.

This intervention will involve providing up to £50,000 for up to 100 households across the lifetime of the parliament.

The bond will be an agreement to provide financial assistance based on set criteria to support island residents to remain in their community, or to encourage households out with the islands to move there.

Recognising the potential tensions arising from those out with the islands moving into island communities, it will also look to develop, in parallel to the bond mechanism, options for a relocation support or advisory service.

This could help to provide a “soft landing” for those looking to move to island communities.

It is hoped the bond support will stimulate local island economies and help with access to land, housing and business space, which in turn will help keep communities thriving and growing.

 

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