Levelling up was top of the agenda as UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart visited innovative island businesses and community projects on a five-day visit to Skye, Lewis and Harris, ahead of the inaugural Islands Forum later this year.

Starting his visit in Skye, Minister Stewart met with the Staffin Community Trust and local fishermen to discuss plans to redevelop Staffin Harbour and consider ways the UK Government could support the project. He then headed to Skye’s largest town, Portree, to host a roundtable discussion with representatives from local community groups, where he invited views on how levelling up could enhance the area.

He also met with Lewis-based Horshader Community Trust, a charity taking forward green initiatives including decarbonising transport and nurturing trees to create woodland. The trust has received more than £70,000 from the Community Renewal Fund to help local residents gain new skills, support the development of two green projects, and work with business partners to strengthen the island’s renewable energy sector.

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