Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil welcomes the announcement from the UK Government of the Islands Growth Deal but says caution is needed as this does not dispel all the financial difficulties still facing the island economy.

An Islands Growth Deal of £50m has been announced by the UK Government after several years of negotiation and persistence by island politicians.

The £50m sum allocated by the UK Government will be match-funded by the Scottish Government. The Islands Deal is the latest in a series of growth deals awarded to cities and regions across Scotland and will benefit Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Orkney and Shetland.

Mr MacNeil says the deal is positive but is not likely to fill the gap left as an impact of leaving the EU.

He said: “While we welcome the money we should also be aware that for context, it is about £2.2m coming in to each island group on average per year for each of the 15 years.

“It is a small part of each council budget in the single digit percentages around the 2 to 3 per cent  but still it should provide a focus to do particular jobs which have been earmarked in our communities.

“We would hope that the money is transformative and if more is required that the Government who control the purse strings will not be found wanting when more resources are needed.”