This afternoon Leader of Highland Council, Drew Hendry and Na H-Eileanan an Iar MP Angus MacNeil will go to the Treasury to meet with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander MP to lobby for the UK to be included in the EU Transition Region Category Status funding.  This funding would bring a net gain of €1.9billion to the UK over 7 years with the Highland and Islands being one of the principle beneficiaries.

MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar,  Angus MacNeil said:

“We have a great opportunity in these tough economic times to kick start our economy in the Highlands and Islands with Transition Region Category Status funding from the EU if the UK includes itself in the programme.

“It would cost the UK €4.7billion over 7 years, but the gain would be €6.6billion over the same period, a net benefit of €1.9billion.  This would mean €240million extra over 7 years which when match funded, would equal half a billion Euros or £380million shot in the arm for the Highlands and Islands economy over that period.

“This would be a great boost for the economy of the Highlands and Islands and with an improved economy would mean greater tax revenue for the Treasury at Westminster or Scotland.   Regardless at the moment I would encourage constituents to contact their MPs in the Highlands, particularly Lib Dem MPs to encourage them to lobby the Uk Government for the benefit the Highlands.”


Highland Council Leader, Drew Hendry said:

“I am representing all the Highland and Island councils so this funding helps directly in local communities across the Highlands and Islands, it provides support for business start ups and many local projects some of the money can even be used several times over in the form of loans which when repaid can then be reused to support others.

“This funding is absolutely vital to the future of our economy and we hope that the UK Treasury will take this onboard.  Transition status has already gained the support of councils and their leadership throughout the UK and across all parties and none.”