News release Immediate release 11/11/10
Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson will speak with Europe Minister Fiona Hyslop to make sure that the Highlands and Islands continues to benefits from European funding.
Mr Gibson was speaking following a HIE Partners meeting (which is made up of HIE, UHI and the seven local authorities) in Inverness on European funding for the region.
Mr Gibson said...
"The Highlands and Islands have benefited hugely from EU funding over the years, from crucial transport links like the Dornoch and Cromarty road bridges to widening of roads in the West it is clear that membership of the EC and EU has brought improvements to the areas that otherwise would not have happened."
"It was regrettable that due to a mistake by the Office of National Statistics in London we lost out on Objective 1 funding, therefore it is crucial that the case for increased funding for the area is made at a UK and EU level."
"I will be pressing home the importance of the issue to the Europe Minister when I meet with her. £1.8 billion cuts from Westminster are coming down the line to Scotland and will be
felt across the Highlands and Islands . Therefore continued finance coming to the region will surely make a positive difference."
"I think that we can make a great case for funding to help with the renewable revolution. Port infrastructure such as Scrabster and Nigg is in need of funds to help make it ready to service
the new industry. Following 2013 when the new funding is announced it will be vital for Europe that it invests in the Highlands and Islands. It is incumbent that all levels of Government are singing from the same hymn sheet. I will be doing all I can for that to happen."