Orkney to host first UK-wide Islands Forum meeting

Island communities from around the UK will be represented at the meeting which will be chaired by Michael Gove.

Island of Hoy in Orkney
Island of Hoy in Orkney

Orkney will host the first of the UK Government’s Islands Forum meetings, which aim to bring island communities from around the UK together to communicate with ministers.

Michael Gove will chair the meeting in September, with representatives from island communities from Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales invited.

Devolved administrations will also be given a role in the forum, with ministers from Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast invited.

The UK Government says island communities face common challenges in areas such as connectivity, infrastructure, and depopulation.

Local Government Association Annual Conference
Michael Gove said he wanted to hear from island communities directly (Danny Lawson/PA)

Mr Gove, the Levelling Up Secretary said: “Island communities contribute a huge amount to the UK and often face common challenges.

“Our new Islands Forum will bring communities together and give our islands a stronger voice.

“Whether it is the requirement for better transport connectivity or opportunities for economic development, I want to hear directly from island communities across the UK what they need to unlock their full potential.

“The UK Government’s goal is to unite and level up our whole United Kingdom, from Shetland to the Scillies.

“This new forum will make sure that our islands are placed right at the heart of our levelling up mission.”

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