- First Islands Forum in Orkney will help to level up island communities and work together on shared opportunities and challenges
- Representatives from island communities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and the devolved governments will attend
- Opportunities around net zero a key focus for the first meeting
The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, Nadhim Zahawi, will chair the first Islands Forum in Orkney on 28 September 2022. It will be attended by UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord.
The Forum, which will take place at Orkney Research & Innovation Campus, will ensure island communities are able to discuss solutions to common challenges, with a significant focus for the first meeting on opportunities around net zero.
Council leaders and chief executives representing all eligible island communities across the UK will take part, as well as ministers from the Scottish and Welsh governments and representatives from Northern Ireland.
The programme will also include a session with the regulator, Ofgem. This will allow island representatives to share their views on regulatory barriers to net zero ambitions and explore next steps to address them.
Participants will also undertake a tour in Orkney focussing on renewable energy, hosted by Orkney Islands Council and European Marine Energy Centre.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, The Rt Hon Nadhim Zahawi MP, said:
As the new Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, I am delighted to be chairing the first Islands Forum in Orkney next week with the purpose of giving our islands a stronger voice.
It is often said that people make a place, and this is certainly true of the UK’s island communities, who contribute a huge amount to our country but often face common challenges.
I look forward to hearing directly from island communities and working closely with the devolved governments on the issues that matter most to local people, making good on our promise to deliver for the whole United Kingdom.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said:
We want to talk with our crucial island communities to understand how best they can flourish and make the most of the opportunities presented by, for instance, their renewable energy resources.
The new Forum is a tremendous opportunity to draw on the collective expertise of people from islands right around the UK coastline, from Scilly to Shetland, to share both solutions to challenges and best practice. I look forward to what I am sure will be a highly productive event.
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