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Press Release 26 January 2021

Scottish islands secure sustainable transport funding

Energy Saving Trust today announces the two successful applicants for the £270,000 Islands Green Recovery Programme: Sustainable Transport Fund. Funded by the Scottish Government and administered by Energy Saving Trust, the fund forms part of the £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme / Prògram Ath-Shlànachaidh Uaine nan Eilean (IGRP) and aims to deliver investment in active and low carbon transport projects in island communities, and support economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first successful applicant, Voluntary Action Barra and Vatersay, is a local charity that seeks to promote the long-term social, economic and environmental prosperity of the islands of Barra and Vatersay. The project’s objectives are to deliver low carbon community transport, including the introduction of an electric minibus. It will also facilitate active travel through measures such as the installation of a bus bike rack and support the expansion of the island’s sustainable transport network through the development of the Castlebay mobility hub. This will result in investment in low carbon transport infrastructure, including a rapid electric vehicle (EV) chargepoint and ebike charging and the provision of training to upskill local mechanics in EV maintenance.

The second successful applicant is the Isle of Kerrera Development Trust. This local charity aims to promote islanders’ views and develop projects that improve the life of Kerrera’s 68 full-time residents. The fund will be used to establish two ebike schemes, one for community members and another for tourists. These initiatives aim to help people to increase their physical activity, improve their mental wellbeing and reduce their reliance on carbon-intensive car journeys, through greater access to cycling.

Ellie Grebenik, senior programme manager at Energy Saving Trust, said: “The Islands Green Recovery Programme: Sustainable Transport Fund will play a key role in supporting the social, economic and environmental recovery of island communities from the coronavirus pandemic. These local initiatives are a brilliant example of how communities can invest in measures to provide easier access to active travel and low carbon transport options. We look forward to working with the successful applicants as they work to improve the local environment and wellbeing of island residents and visitors alike”.

Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The Islands Green Recovery Programme: Sustainable Transport Fund will enable the communities of Barra and Vatersay to deliver low-carbon approaches to community transport which will improve the provision, reliability and flexibility of sustainable and active transport. The fund is also supporting the Isle of Kerrera to develop a pilot Island Bike Hire scheme to encourage greater use of active travel. We know being environmentally responsible and mitigating the effects of climate change can be more expensive for people living on our islands. This investment will help to reduce that financial burden.

“All four strands of the £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme will fund projects that help our island communities to thrive, contribute to our work on repopulation and create jobs. In line with the commitments set out in the National Islands Plan, projects will also support and enhance health and wellbeing as well as the development of local supply chains and the associated economic output that comes with this.”

View full details of awarded projects.


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Image available on request.

Notes to editors:

Energy Saving Trust

Energy Saving Trust is an independent organisation dedicated to promoting energy efficiency, low carbon transport and sustainable energy use. We aim to address the climate emergency and deliver the wider benefits of clean energy as the UK transitions to net zero.

We empower householders to make better choices, deliver transformative programmes for governments and support businesses with strategy, research and assurance – enabling everyone to play their part in building a sustainable future.

Islands Green Recovery Programme: Sustainable Transport Fund

The £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme / Prògram Ath-Shlànachaidh Uaine nan Eilean (IGRP) is part of the wider £230 million capital stimulus package announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance to support and encourage resilience across island communities.

The Islands Green Recovery Programme was heavily oversubscribed. An additional £383,341 was secured to maximise the impact of this capital stimulus investment for Scotland’s island communities, by funding more projects, bringing the total investment through the Islands Green Recovery Programme to £2,383,341.

Scottish Government’s Islands Green Recovery Programme by is split into four separate strands, each managed by one of the delivery partners in the programme:

  • Energy Saving Trust fund (IGRP Sustainable Transport Fund) – £270,000 to support sustainable transport initiatives
  • Zero Waste Scotland fund (IGRP Refill Fund) – £268,388 to introduce packaging-free shops
  • Inspiring Scotland fund (IGRP Grant Fund) – £1,155,091 to support community recovery projects
  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise fund (IGRP Projects to Support a More Carbon Neutral Economy) – £689,862 to support green economic recovery

The Islands Green Recovery Programme: Sustainable Transport Fund, managed by Energy Saving Trust, provides investment in sustainable transport projects, delivered by community-led organisations, for the benefit of island communities. The strategic aims of the fund are to support at least one pilot project related to sustainable transport and travel; reduce inequalities within the community; support a modal shift away from more carbon-intensive forms of travel; provide economic benefit; align with the community’s wider sustainability plans; and link with local and national policies. The fund is now closed for applications.

Last updated: 26 January 2021