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Highlands and Islands to be epicentre of green jobs creation
22nd of April 2021
Inverness and Nairn SNP candidate, Fergus Ewing, has set out a vision of growth in the North economy with the commitment to over £6 million to go straight to the Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help with the delivery of the Green Jobs Fund.
Mr Ewing has highlighted the natural and human resources which can be used to take advantage of the increased investor interest in many of the Highland economy sectors and spells out where the opportunities to do more exist.
The SNP manifesto has committed to over £6 million to go to Highlands and Islands Enterprise to help with the delivery of the Green Jobs fund.
Commenting Mr Ewing said:
“I am pleased to see the SNP has committed to the Green Jobs fund which will transform our Highland economy and our industries in the north.
“In the Highlands we have great potential for renewable energy, with huge opportunities in tidal, wind and pump storage. This fund will allow projects such as these and other like Nigg and the Cromarty Firth industrial development of green energy projects to thrive.
“We also have opportunities to develop our forestry sectors and expand our tourism sector based on those who come here to enjoy our landscape, countryside rivers and sea.
“We’ve seen development in our space sector at Unst, in Shetland, and in Sutherland and Benbecula and growth in our life science industries. These are very exciting projects that will all benefit from the extra support.
“In these, and more, HIE, the Highland Council and the Scottish Government can work as a Team Scotland to help grow, invest and expand in our sectors to help our rural economy grow. The big picture is that the Highlands and Islands can be the epicentre of the green recovery drive over the next five years.”
EWING PRIORITIES FOR TRANSPORT
21st of April 2021
SNP Candidate for Inverness and Nairn, Fergus Ewing, has welcomed the SNP’s manifesto proposals to committing the continued delivery of better transport links for the Highland region.
The Scottish National Party have pledged their continued commitment to dualling the A9 and A96 roads as well as brining Scotrail into public ownership from next year and decarbonising rail services by 2035.
Commenting Fergus Ewing said:
“Over the past five years we have seen great progress in our commitment to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness, and agreement of the planned route of the dualled A96 from Inverness to Auldearn, including a Nairn bypass.
“I have long campaigned for delivery of the dual carriageway links for the city of Inverness, the last city in Scotland without the safer dualled roads. Now that is closer to delivery with major progress on the A9 with several sections delivered, and the rest planned. I am delighted that completing these projects remains a firm commitment as part of the SNP’s manifesto.
“Transport is a vitally important issue for people living in the Highlands. We have been accelerating infrastructure for electric and ultra-low emission cars and buses but, of course, they will still need roads for them to be driven on. Therefore, it isn’t logical to have a political fixation against all roads and betrays a lack of understanding of the North of Scotland and for the many for whom a car is a necessity, not a luxury.
“Train links are vital too, and major investment has been taking place here as well including bringing Scotrail into public ownership from next year and decarbonising rail services by 2035. I was proud to have brokered the MOU for a Rannoch Rail freight scheme – perhaps the largest modal shift scheme yet this century which would see 500,000 tonnes of timber off our roads onto rail. If returned as your MSP, I can work to deliver this and build further on the SNP’s proposals for a further major extension of active travel including cycle ways in our improved routes.
“I also want to see air links, so badly affected by the pandemic, restored from Inverness airport. People living and growing businesses here are entitled to direct connections to the same level as elsewhere, especially as low emission planes are planned for island connections from Inverness.
“If re-elected, I will work hard to get these things done, working as a team and with the Local Authority and Transport Scotland. I have no time for fantasy projects such as bridges or tunnels to Northern Ireland, or further lanes on the M8 which the conservatives favour. My commitment remains prioritising the people of the Highlands and ensuring they have better and safer transport links around the region”
EWING CALLS FOR HIGHLAND RECOVERY PLAN
April 21st 2021
Fergus Ewing, the SNP candidate standing for the Inverness and Nairn constituency, has called for a working group with local businesses and organisations groups to build a Highland recovery plan as lockdown restriction begin to ease.
Commenting Mr Ewing said:
"The last year has been incredibly difficult for all of us. As we emerge from the pandemic and the impacts this has had on our people and our businesses, we need to focus on rebuilding our economy and strengthening our communities.
"Over my time as an elected representative and my time as Rural Economy Minister, I have seen the strength of Scotland's businesses and our natural resources. We are a country rich with potential to build our economy further.
"In recent years, I have been involved in many projects to strengthen our Highland economy and jobs. An example is the partnership working to secure the £315m Inverness City Region Deal which has brought inward investment straight into the region and supported many local jobs. Or indeed, the successful campaign for the return of £160m in Common Agricultural Payments to support Scottish farmers.
“These are just a few examples that have shown by working in partnership with our local organisations and business communities, we can achieve great steps forward for our economy.
“In the Highlands, I have seen the impacts that shutting many of our industries over the last year has had on our communities. While these have been necessary for the protection of lives, this last year has been an incredibly straining and worrying time for many businesses who are looking now to start planning for the future as restrictions begin to be carefully lifted.
“Supporting our rural economy and our business communities remains one of my top priorities. I hope if re-elected I can be a leader, with a proven track record of delivering for the Highlands, working in partnership with our local businesses and organisations to build a Highland Recovery Plan.”