THE third Islands Forum will take place in Lewis and be chaired by Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove.

October’s forum follows meetings in Orkney in September 2022 and the Isle of Wight in May 2023, where members agreed to collaborate further on net zero and skills.

Council leaders and chief executives of island communities as well as ministers from the Scottish and Welsh governments and secretary of the department for infrastructure in Northern Ireland have been invited.

The forum, being hosted on 9-10 October, will focus on connectivity, recognising the importance of physical and digital connectivity to islands, particularly those with no fixed links to the mainland.

READ MORE: Anger sparked over Michael Gove hosting Island's Forum Meeting on Orkney

Gove created the forum in 2022 to “bring communities together and give our islands a stronger voice”.

Commenting on the October meeting, Gove said: “The Islands Forum is a significant bi-annual event bringing together island communities who contribute so much to the UK.

“The first two forums in Orkney and the Isle of Wight clearly demonstrated the strong appetite for us to all work together to benefit communities. I look forward to meeting again on the Isle of Lewis, to discuss connectivity, reflecting the physical and digital connectivity challenges islands face.

“I know the Isle of Lewis’ geography, heritage and language traditions will provide a thought-provoking location to discuss the unique issues facing our incredible islands across the UK.”

Leader of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Paul Steele said: “People in the Western Isles and other UK islands face unique challenges and the next Islands Forum presents another opportunity for us all to collaborate further, finding potential solutions with government ministers.

“I look forward to meeting with Secretary of State for Levelling Up Michael Gove MP and discussing connectivity alongside future funding and growth opportunities.”