Nicola Sturgeon has said that with independence the Scottish Government would be able to look at ways to ensure Shetland continues to receive community benefits from its oil and gas industry as Shetland enters a second oil boom.
Campaigning on the island, Ms Sturgeon set out the opportunities for Shetland of independence.
In Empowering Scotland’s Islands the Scottish Government agreed that community support should be considered to offset any adverse impacts for the vast industry developing on the islands and that following independence the Scottish Government will work with communities in Shetland to use revenues to mitigate any adverse community impacts from oil and gas activities.
With a Yes vote Shetland will also have a greater say in the development of the industry through an energy forum for the first time ever and have the opportunity to benefit from offshore energy resources with 100% of revenues from the islands seabed going to the community.
With independence meaning oil and gas revenues would remain in Scotland instead of flow to Westminster, future Scottish Government’s could choose to use those revenues to help the island adjust to the scale of the industry.
“Shetland is on the cusp of a second oil boom. Anyone who comes here can’t miss the hundreds of workers coming on and off the islands and the impact all of this activity has on small island communities.
“Shetland showed the rest of Scotland the way when it established its oil fund in 1976. That charitable fund has grown to £200m and the investment it has made in Shetland communities is here for all to see.
“Independence means the rest of Scotland can take the same approach and invest in our future through a national energy fund, but it also means a new opportunity for Shetland communities to benefit from the industry off their shores.
“With 100% of revenues from the seabed – that currently go to Westminster – transferring directly to Shetland for the community to use there is an opportunity to continue that investment in community benefit.
“And with oil revenues remaining in Scotland instead of bankrolling the Tories at Westminster we can use them to help meet some of the costs to Shetland of hosting this industry.
“And we can give Shetland a greater say in the future of the industry for the first time in 40 years.
“With independence we can create new opportunities in Shetland to support the local economy, invest in communities and grasp the potential of not just energy but rural industries, tourism, and culture for the future.
“A no vote means Shetland’s natural wealth continues to flow to London, with a Yes vote Shetland can reap the benefits of a second energy bonanza.”
Pictured is (l) Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Deputy First Minister and (r) Lerwick in Shetland