SOME 12 initiatives have been selected as the first projects to benefit from the £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme.

Seaweed farming, environmentally friendly laundry service and local food production are just some of the initial initiatives to benefit from community-focused green funding strand.

The £900,000 community strand of funding managed by Inspiring Scotland sought applications from island community groups, charities and businesses to support capital expenditure projects that reduce carbon emissions as well as improve the resilience, health and wellbeing for island communities.

KelpCrofting Ltd will use the funding to establish community-scale seaweed farming off the coast of Skye, creating employment opportunities for the local community and developing products to support food and agriculture supply chains.

Eschol Guest House, based on Lewis, will use the funding to establish a shared eco-laundry facility for themselves and several other tourism accommodation units on Lewis, reducing their carbon footprint and delivering more sustainable tourism solutions.

Woodside Arran CIC will use the funding to purchase agricultural land to grow and supply more locally sourced fresh vegetables for their community and develop fresh food vending machines for the community.

READ MORE: Take a look inside the new Johnnie Walker whisky experience in Edinburgh

Kyla Orr, director at Kelp Crofting said: “The funding will have a big impact on the success of our business, and will facilitate growth of this emerging blue-green economy on the island.”

Jennifer MacDonald of Woodside Arran commented: “Receiving the Island Green Recovery Grant is going to have such a lasting impact for Woodside Arran. We are now going to be in a position to feed and support our community throughout the challenges that both Brexit and the Covid recovery period will bring.”

Donald MacArthur on behalf of Eschol Guest House and partners said: “We are delighted to be part of the Island Green Recovery Programme. Investing in new innovative green technology is critical to securing a sustainable recovery for tourism in the islands and this programme has allowed us to accelerate that process during the most challenging of times."

READ MORE: 2e-volve chooses to put employees in charge of its future direction

Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “The £2 million Islands Green Recovery Programme will support a recovery that drives investment that lowers greenhouse gas emissions while increasing the resilience of island communities through investment in: a range of active and low carbon transport projects, environmentally-safe tourism, as well as food sustainability and zero waste projects that support and impact upon the green circular economy and related employment and I really look forward to seeing the positive impacts of these projects.”