A new Delivery Group will take the lead in progressing the recently-published Arran Island Plan, which will be used to help drive the development of the island over the next decade.

The establishment of the group means that those who will be affected most by the plan – local people – will lead efforts to ensure its aims are fulfilled.

Councillor Alan Hill, Cabinet Member for Communities and Islands, said: “This is about empowering our communities to be at the very forefront of the ambitious plans for their island.

“The 10-year Arran Island Plan was published earlier this year and was created and shaped with input from local residents, groups and businesses, indeed anyone with the interests of Arran at heart.

“The Delivery Group will now take forward that plan and ensure its priority themes of community, economy and environment and related actions are delivered.

“As we saw during the Covid-19 lockdown, our island communities very often face a unique set of challenges, and it will take a unique series of actions to address these.

“I’m very positive and confident that the Island Plans – both for Cumbrae and Arran – can and will make a lasting difference.”

Councillor Timothy Billings, chair of the Arran Locality Partnership, said: “There’s no doubt that islanders are best placed to help achieve the goals we set for ourselves.

“We want to take the experience and expertise of local people and organisations and use that to work collectively to deliver on the priorities identified by the people of Arran.

“This is about achieving an ‘Island in Balance’ as we take solid action to resolve the issues that affect our everyday lives.”

North Ayrshire Council has collaborated with the Scottish Government and Highland and Islands Enterprise on the development of the ambitious 10-year Island Plans which aim to drive the development of community, economic and environmental wellbeing of Arran and Cumbrae, by addressing long-standing issues faced by both islands. Following the publication of the plans earlier this year, Annual Action Plans have also been drawn up.

The development of bespoke plans for our islands is unique to North Ayrshire and was inspired by the dedicated communities who have identified the priorities for action.

On Tuesday, September 20, members of Arran Locality Partnership agreed that a new Delivery Group for Arran should take a lead role in turning the plan into reality. The group will take responsibility for implementing, monitoring progress, reviewing and refreshing the Annual Action Plan, ensuring that work is driven forward in a collaborative way that involves the Arran community.

For the Arran Island plan, three main themes emerged following the in-depth consultation:

  • Economy – including business resilience, local supply chains, and retention and attraction of working age population
  • Community – including ferry provision and infrastructure, affordable housing to buy & rent, and transport connectivity
  • Environment – including climate action & sustainability, energy provision and costs, and active travel

The next steps in the plan will see a thematic workshop and plenary session in Brodick on Thursday 29th September, chaired by the Chair of the Arran Locality Partnership, to agree the scope of the three priorities and how these will complement the work of the Arran Islands Plan Delivery Group.

For further information contact islands@north-ayrshire.gov.uk