The development of a Rathlin Island Policy and Action Plan

Rathlin is Northern Ireland's only offshore inhabited island. The NI Executive recognises that the challenges faced by such an island community are different from those on the mainland, and therefore recognises that they need to be addressed in a different way. To this end the NI Executive introduced its own policy for Rathlin Island in 2010.

Why develop a Rathlin Island Policy?

The Regional Development Strategy 2035 (which is the spatial expression of the NI Executive) also recognises that Rathlin Island is unique, requiring a co-ordinated approach to its development.  

The Rathlin Island Policy and associated Action Plan are the expression of that co-ordinated approach.  The strategic aims of the Rathlin Island Policy are:  

  • to enhance community involvement
  • to improve the provision of public services for Islanders
  • to advance policies for a sustainable Island community
  • to conserve the Island’s exceptional environmental heritage

The Regional Planning Branch is responsible for implementing and monitoring the Rathlin Island Policy and Action Plan.  The Branch established a Ministerial Forum chaired by the DfI Minister.  It includes island representatives and senior officials from relevant Government Departments and Local Bodies.  Its purpose is to monitor progress against the Action Plan and to review and refresh the Plan to reflect changing circumstances. The Revised Rathlin Island Action Plan will be underpinned by an Implementation Plan.


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