Northern Isles MP, Alistair Carmichael, has challenged the Government to ensure that their industrial strategy launched this week works for island communities and not just towns and cities.
Greg Clark, Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy, said:
“I would be delighted to visit the right hon. Gentleman’s constituency—it is quite a time commitment, but I am sure it would be worth it. He will see when he reads the Green Paper that there are a number of sources of support for innovation. Obviously, in a competitive way, the research and development funding is available for scientists and researchers to bid for. There is also a chapter on the green economy that makes suggestions on how we can ensure that we get industrial advantage as well as keeping costs low for renewables. Both routes might be applicable for wave and tidal technologies.”
Commenting afterwards, Mr. Carmichael said:
“Businesses in Orkney and Shetland are doing ground-breaking work in the marine renewables sector, and I am happy that the Minister sees this. The Government’s Industrial Strategy consultation is an important opportunity for these organisations to play a part in the Government’s plans in the years ahead, so it is really important that they get it right. Getting him to the isles to see this for himself may open his eyes to what is being done here. We are not looking for any favours or special treatment, just the same opportunities as other parts of the country. We have always paid our way as part of the UK and then some. This will allow us to continue to contribute as we always have done.”