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Fancy moving to a quaint little island?
Well, if you’re Scottish, that might be a reality soon. The Scottish Islands need to be populated and there’s a cash incentive to move.
In an effort to tackle depopulation, the government has announced plans to offerer bonds of £50,000 to young people and families to stay in or move to islands currently threatened by depopulation.
Bonds may be awarded to 100 people so they can buy, build and renovate homes as well as start businesses that will bring the islands to life.
Consultation for the islands began this week and over the next 12 weeks, opinions will be sought on the proposals. Scotland has more than 790 islands and the consultation process will help determine which destinations are eligible and who can apply. It is hoped that the new plans will help existing island communities who are affected by depopulation.
The new proposals will be used to make the islands more desirable for locals as well as enticing new residents. And what’s more enticing than £50k and the chance to live on a lush little island?
Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon hopes the move demonstrates their willingness to make the islands more accessible, and show their commitment to locals’ wellbeing.
She said: “The Islands Bond will help us to deliver on some of the commitments from the National Islands Plan (a framework for action to meaningfully improve outcomes for island communities.). It’s a way for us to address some of the key financial barriers for people who want to live on our islands.
“Each of our islands are unique and this consultation will help us understand some of the population challenges across our islands and make sure that we can properly address them. It will also provide information to enable us to set up a relocation support or advisory service and make the move for people as smooth as possible.”
Gougeon encouraged people across Scotland, especially those currently living island, to provide a response to this consultation and make sure their voices are heard to help shape the bond.
“As well as delivering this consultation, we’ll continue to engage with local authorities, island communities and other relevant stakeholders as we develop the bond,” she added.
If you become one of the 100 to win the cash and move, we are truly jealous.
Travel is the story of our summer. The rules (and traffic lights) are always changing, but one thing’s clear, we dream of being Anywhere But Here. This seasonal series offers you clear-headed travel advice, ideas-packed staycation guides, clever swaps and hacks, and a healthy dose of wanderlust.