A NEW visitor centre at one of Scotland’s most recognisable landmarks is among the projects to have received a share of a multi-million pound fund to develop projects across island communities.

The iconic Old Man of Storr rock formation on Skye is one of 11 projects, spread across 31 islands, which have received funding as part of the Islands Programme.

The £4.45 million pound fund, which is for the current financial year, will see £440,000 put towards the new visitor centre and EV charging points at the Skye landmark.

Other projects which have been awarded funding include £509,450 towards the ongoing regeneration of Millport Town Hall on Great Cumbrae, and £540,000 to create nine “island pit stops” to disperse visitors and improve tourism infrastructure across that island and the nearby Arran.

There is also a £1.5m allocation to build a new nursery in Kirkwall on Orkney’s mainland.

Announcing the funding during a visit to Orkney, Islands Secretary Mairi Gougeon said: “This is an important investment especially given the consequences of the cost-of-living crisis and climate change which are of particular concern for our islands. This investment will go some way in helping us support our island communities.

“I am happy to be here in Orkney, to announce the allocation of £1.5m to the Orkney Islands Council for a brand new nursery facility. The new nursery will support families from both mainland Orkney and the outer isles, as well as providing opportunities for Childhood Practice Students from Orkney College.

“I wish all the successful projects the very best and look forward to following their progress.”

Scottish Futures Trust is providing support and feedback for the projects. The funding is part of the Islands Programme, which supports the implementation of the 2019 National Islands Plan. The Scottish Government said this will help to “make the Scottish islands even better places to live, study, work and raise a family”.

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Tony Rose, the Scottish Futures Trust’s director of strategy, said: “Our infrastructure experts have been working with the Scottish Government and the six island local authorities to ensure the Islands Programme delivers positive outcomes for island communities.

“This funding will now be invested in much-needed community infrastructure such as a low carbon children’s nursery and a circular economy social enterprise venture, that will support repopulation, economic growth and local jobs. Our focus now is on working with the successful applicants to see their projects come to fruition and achieve what the communities need.”

A full list of the projects which will be given funding can be found on the Scottish Government’s website.