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National Islands Plan

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Paul Wheelhouse Paul Wheelhouse Scottish National Party

Donald Cameron raises an important matter. Digital connectivity came out strongly in the feedback from islanders on the things that they want investment in. I point out—I will do this gently because it that kind of day—that the issue is a legal and regulatory responsibility of the United Kingdom Government and that we are intervening to try to ensure that we address a failure of the UK market to deliver for remote island communities across the whole UK and not just in Scotland. As the member knows, we are in the final stages of procurement for R100. I hope to be able to update Parliament shortly on the outcome for the north lot as well as the central and south lots, but I am optimistic that a good outcome will be achieved. In the R100 bids, we have mandated areas in some of our islands, in communities such as Yell, to ensure that they are among the main beneficiaries of the programme.