National Islands Plan review: consultation

Closed 7 Nov 2023

Opened 18 Jul 2023

Feedback updated 23 Apr 2024

We asked

We sought views to inform a review of the Scottish Government’s National Islands Plan published in December 2019. The consultation opened on 18 July and closed on 7 November 2023.

You said

The consultation received 167 responses submitted by 39 organisations and 128 individuals. Most respondents (82%) said they were permanent island residents. In addition, a total of 231 individuals participated in consultation workshops (13 in-person on islands and 3 online) delivered by the Scottish Government’s Islands Team.

There were mixed views, both among organisations and individuals, about whether the National Islands Plan had had any effect on their lives, with organisations (50%) more likely than individuals (10%) to say the plan affected them positively.

There were also mixed views on the contents of the current National Islands Plan, with 37% of respondents saying they had positive views, 36% saying they had negative views and 27% saying they had no views at all.

A large majority of respondents wanted to see a new (or revised) National Islands Plan.

We did

The Scottish Government will commence work to develop a second National Islands Plan, to be published in 2025. The new document will be informed by the feedback received through this public consultation as well as close collaboration with island communities, island local authorities and delivery partners. We will continue the implementation of the commitments set out in the current plan whilst the new document is developed.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Scotland’s first ever National Islands Plan was published in 2019. It is now being reviewed as required by the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018, which may lead to the publication of a new National Islands Plan. The Scottish Government wants to work together with local authorities, island communities and relevant sectors and partners to ensure this process is as thorough and effective as possible, providing us with vital feedback from those most impacted by the National Islands Plan. 

Why we are consulting

The Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 requires that a consultation must take place as part of this review. This will provide us with information on what may need to be revised before any new Plan is laid before parliament.  

The aim of the review

The aim of this review is twofold. Firstly, it will provide a detailed overview of the impact of the current National Islands Plan since its publication. Secondly, it will inform (if the review tells us we need one) a new National Islands Plan.

Read the consultation paper

Why your views matter

The Scottish Government firmly believes that the review of the current National Islands Plan should be informed by the views of those on our islands, to the greatest extent possible. Details about this part of the consultation and how the results will be processed can be found later in this consultation document. 

The results of the written consultation will be combined with quantitative and more qualitative data gathered through a series of meetings with key partners across the islands and direct engagement with island communities. 

This consultation provides everyone with an interest in Scotland’s islands the chance to provide us with their views and, if required, to shape the next iteration of the National Islands Plan. It takes about 30-40 minutes to complete. 

This consultation is aimed at:  

  • People who live in Scotland’s islands, and any groups who represent them.  
  • People who have an interest in Scotland’s islands. 
  • Organisations and people working on and with Scotland’s islands, across the public, private and third sectors.  

What happens next

Following the closing date, all responses will be analysed and considered along with any other available evidence to help us. Responses will be published where we have been given permission to do so. An analysis report will also be made available.


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