Shetland projects that have benefited from European funding face a financial cliff edge after March 2019.
Shetland MSP Tavish Scott today asked Economy Minister Keith Brown, when the UK leaves the EU, what would replace structural funds that have assisted the Highlands & Islands over many decades.
Mr Brown confirmed that there are no funds available to replace the existing structural funds. These have helped build ferry link spans, roads and other infrastructure in Shetland.
Scott asked Mr Brown what funds would be allocated to bringing broadband to every house from structural funds. He also asked how Shetland would be covered by the forthcoming procurement. This is the government contract to provide broadband services to every home and business. The Minister said the government have yet to decide how this contract will operate.
Scott continued, ‘providing broadband links that work for every house is the right thing to do. European funds will help in delivering this objective. These funds are to be specifically targeted on the hardest to reach areas. Places where there is no broadband or it is very slow - and Shetland has plenty of them - need to be the starting point for the new contract. I will continue to press the government to make sure that is how the new system is designed. It must start with the areas such as Unst and Yell that have had no assistance so far’.