Area SNP MSP Rob Gibson has backed a Scottish Government plan to give the Highlands and Islands more say over the economy.
During the Highlands and Islands Convention in Shetland First Minister Alex Salmond announced that two additional places were to be created on the influential National Economic Forum. The convention would nominate two representatives to take up the seats.
Mr Gibson said…
"This move from the First Minister shows that the SNP are committed to an all Scotland approach to Government and shows that he can see the importance that the North and West will play in Scotland's future."
"There is a great potential for the Highlands and Islands to be the main economic driver for a future Scotland. It is important that we start inputting into the Nation from the start and places on forum are integral to this."
"I believe that in the future there will be an influx of people northwards as new industries start to take root. We could see a reverse flow of people from the centre to the north. Far from being on the periphery of economic development there is a real chance that we could be the central hub."
"Inclusion in the Forum is recognition of this and shows a commitment from the SNP Government to the whole of Scotland."