Development of the Islands Bond

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Closes 25 Oct 2021


1. What are your initial thoughts on the proposed criteria of the Islands Bond?

Islands Bond Manifesto Commitment

The SNP Manifesto stated that: “To help stem depopulation, we will establish an Islands Bond – offering 100 bonds of up to £50,000 to young people and families to stay in or move to islands threatened by depopulation. The bonds will support people to buy homes, start businesses and otherwise make their lives for the long term in these communities”

This commitment provides us with a number of high-level details in relation to the purpose of the Islands Bond that form the basic criteria.

These criteria are that:

  • The bond will be a £5 million fund across the lifetime of the parliament
  • The bond value for each individual ‘award’ will be up to £50,000
  • Capital funding will be made available to young people and families to stay in or to move to islands currently threatened by depopulation
  • Bonds issued will support people to buy, build or renovate homes, start businesses and otherwise make their lives for the long-term in island communities
2. Which island location do you currently live in? (If applicable)

Island Groups

Island Group Islands
Argyll Islands Coll, Colonsay, Easdale, Gometra, Iona, Islay, Isle of Gigha, Isle of Mull, Jura, Kerrera, Lismore, Luiing, Oronsay, Seil, Tiree, Ulva
Arran, Bute and the Cumbraes Bute, Great Cumbrae Island, Isle of Arran
Lewis and Harris Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis and Harris, Scalpay
Orkney Mainland Burray, Mainland of Orkney, South Ronaldsay
Orkney Outer Isles Eday, Egilsay, Flotta, Graemsay, Hoy, North Ronaldsay, Papa Stronsay, Papa Westray, Rousay, Sanday, Shapinsay, Stronsay, Westray, Wyre
Shetland Mainland East Burra, Mainland of Shetland, Muckle Roe, Trondra, West Burra
Shetland Outer Isles Bressay, Bruray, Fair Isle, Fetlar, Foula, Housay, Papa Stour, Unst, Whalsay, Yell
Skye and the Small Isles Canna, Eigg, Eilean Tioram, Isle of Ewe, Isle of Raasay, Isle of Skye, Muck, Rona, Rum, Sanday, Soay
Uist and Barra Baleshare, Barra, Benbecula, Berneray (North Uist), Eriskay, Grimsay (North), Grimsay (South), North Uist, South Uist, Sunamul, Vatersay
3. If you are a resident of an island, what do you think are the most significant population challenges in your area and why?

Population Challenges

"Population challenges" can include, but are not limited to: 

  • Ageing population
  • Declining birth rate
  • Depopulation 
4. If you are a resident of an island, are there any particular demographics underrepresented in your area that you think the Islands Bond should target?
5. What do you think should be the priority focus for the Islands Bond?
6. What additional capital investment through the Islands Bond would most influence people's decision to stay or move to our Islands?

Capital Investment

For the purpose of this consultation, "capital investement" refers to purchases that could be considered as a capital cost.

Capital costs are fixed, one-time expenses incurred on the purchase of land, buildings, construction, and equipment used in the production of goods or in the provision of services. 

Capital does not include ongoing expenses such as administration and operating costs.

7. Do you agree that there would be a need for an advisory service to support those relocating to island communities?

Resettlement Support Service

Recognising the potential tensions arising from those outwith the islands moving into island communities, we will also look to develop, in parallel to the bond mechanism, options for a relocation support or advisory service. This could help to provide a ‘soft landing’ for those looking to move to island communities.

The role of this service could include but not be limited to:

  • Help in identifying local services and support
  • Signposting of local clubs and organisations, 
  • Explaining transport and travel options for a particular island or island community
  • Highlighting importance of the local culture, community and history
8. In your opinion, what should be the main purpose and role of an advisory service to support those relocating to island communities?
9. Who should be involved in the delivery of an advisory service to support those relocating to island communities?
10. If you are an individual with lived experience of, or an organisation with experience of, challenges related to protected characteristics, how positive do you think the impact of the Islands Bond may be?

Protected Characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender Reassignment
  • Marriage and Civil Partnership
  • Pregnancy and Maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
11. Beyond those outlined in the Consultation Paper, what other methods of measuring the progress and impact of the Islands Bond might we adopt?

Measuring and Evaluating the Islands Bond

Measuring the progress and success of the Bond would involve both quantitative and qualitative analysis.


  • Number and value of islands bond issued;
  • Number, individual value, and location of households in receipt of the Bond to support remaining in an island community;
  • Number, individual value, destination moving to, and original location of households in receipt of the Bond to support migrating to an island community;
  • Analysis of wider impact of Bond investment including additional employment created, increase in local school roll, Bond spend in local area/business.


  • Case studies of households in receipt of the Bond which would highlight both the benefits and potential challenges of remaining in or moving to island communities.
12. Any other comments on the Islands Bond