Have your say in helping to maximise potential of Arran

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People living on Arran are being urged to get involved with draft plans just published to help maximise the potential of Arran.

After extensive consultation with residents, community groups, young islanders and businesses on the islands, the draft local island plans and sample 2022/23 annual action plans can be seen online and contribute to before they are finalised.

North Ayrshire Council is collaborating with the Scottish government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise on the islands’ recovery and renewal pilot project which aims to improve outcomes for island communities through the development of ambitious 10-year island plans.

Recently several engagement exercises have been held with communities on Arran, as well as Cumbrae, helping to shape the draft plans.

Island communities are now invited to view the draft documents and give final comments.

It is hoped that those responding will give examples of case studies or projects they are involved in; any activity relating to economic, community and environmental wellbeing groups or organisations are undertaking; and any further contributions to support the successful delivery of the island plans.

Each draft 10-year plan has a long-term strategic focus developed with and for the island communities.

While the aims and objectives may remain for the duration of the long-term plan, the associated annual action plan will be reviewed each year and updated as required.

Islands cabinet portfolio lead and cabinet member for post Covid-renewal Councillor Alex Gallagher said: ‘This is a new and ground-breaking development for both our island communities of Arran and Cumbrae.

‘For the first time, there will be a firm strategy to address the long-standing issues which beset our island communities and a plan to develop economic and social solutions for the coming years in line with the aims of island residents.

‘The islands’ plans offer a real chance to have a say in how we can identify the priorities and actions required to create a new future for both islands.

‘We’ve been delighted with the engagement we have carried out so far with many individuals and organisations taking part to offer their knowledge and experience.

‘We hope that they recognise and share the vision, priorities and ambitions for the islands in the draft plans and offer any final thoughts before the deadline.’

Arran Conservative councillor Timothy Billings said: ‘Many people say to me that they don’t know what is happening and that decisions appear to be being made on behalf of the island.

‘This is an opportunity to change that and enable anyone who wants to, to get involved with the decisions on how Arran develops.’

The plans are available to view and comment on until 5pm on Tuesday January 4, 2022, at www.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/islands

Please email islands@north-ayrshire.gov.uk to share your input.

It is currently expected that the plans will be finalised and published in March 2022.

Conservative Councillor Timothy Billings.