The Isle of Wight will host the second Islands Forum next month, chaired by current Secretary of State Michael Gove.

The Islands Forum aims to help level up island communities by encouraging collaboration to tackle common challenges such as connectivity, infrastructure and demographic trends and explore opportunities, including the transition to net zero.

It will also allow the government to hear and learn from island communities to inform future policy.

The first Islands Forum took place on the Orkney Islands in Scotland in September last year.

Michael Gove said: “Island communities contribute richly to the UK and share their own unique set of challenges as well as opportunities.

“The Islands Forum creates a space for Islanders to work together and give feedback directly to the government, ensuring that islands can be even better places for people to work and live."

Bob Seely, Island MP, said: “I am delighted that the Secretary of State is coming to the Isle of Wight, and I am delighted that the Island is hosting the second-ever Islands Forum meeting.

"As the Isle of Wight’s MP, I campaigned to make this happen because it is a way of the Isle of Wight, working with other islands, to make its voice heard at the heart of government. 

“The Islands Forum is an opportunity for our Island, but also all the UK islands, to explain the challenges we face. 

“I am sure we will give Michael Gove and all our guests from the UK’s wonderful islands a very warm Isle of Wight welcome.”

Cllr Lora Peacey-Wilcox, IW Council leader, said: “The Islands Forum is a superb opportunity to establish the challenges for our islands and continue our engagement with government ministers and civil servants to find the right steps to address our issues.”

Benefitting from a cash injection through levelling up funds is East Cowes Marina with £5.8, with the funding intending to futureproof the marine engineering hub, creating jobs and boosting productivity.

The Forum will take place on May 24 and 25.