Environment Minister visits Raasay

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Initial discussions took place on Raasay today to consider the options for handling the island’s sporting rights.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse met the Raasay Crofters Association and members of the wider community today to hear about the importance of the sporting rights to the islanders and discuss future options.

The visit follows yesterday’s announcement that the contract, awarded to South Ayrshire Stalking following a competitive tender, had been withdrawn by mutual consent. The previous lease, which had been held by the island’s crofting community, will now be extended by a year to enable the community to be consulted on longer term options for the vital lease.

Mr Wheelhouse said:

“It was a valuable opportunity to visit Raasay today and hear from the community about the importance of the sporting rights to the island.

“Having extended the crofters’ lease by a year we are now able to consider the best long term option for the sporting rights.

“We will consult fully with the local community throughout and today’s meeting was just the start of this process and we want the broadest possible consensus going forward on how to maximise community benefit.

“The sporting rights are very important to Raasay and the Scottish Government is committed to helping the local community to maximise the benefits that these can offer.”