Argyll and Bute set for £70 million of investment

Pictured, from left: councillor Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council; cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity Michael Matheson MSP; and UK Government minister Iain Stewart MP.

A transformational £70 million investment is to be made in Argyll and Bute with housing and skills amongst a range of areas set to benefit from the funding.

The rural growth deal (RGD) brings together £25 million each from the Scottish and UK governments and a further £20 million via Argyll and Bute Council and partners.

The local authority has already identified a range of projects through the funding. This includes the build of a marine industry training centre; developing the area as a ‘must visit’ tourist destination; the delivery of waterfront infrastructure to support the regeneration of some of the constituency’s coastal towns; the creation of a low carbon economy; the delivery of 21st century infrastructure for skills, training, education and enterprise to support growth and work opportunities for rural communities; the build of affordable housing; and the roll out of super fast broadband.

Councillor Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said, “The rural growth deal is about turning economic potential into a successful future for Argyll and Bute. This transformational investment will focus on connecting our high value business sectors with national and international business markets, on attracting additional skills, residents, visitors and businesses, and on growing benefit from our fantastic natural assets.

“Reaching this milestone has been a partnership effort – thank you to everyone involved. Especially in these times of unprecedented challenge, this is an important day for Argyll and Bute.”

Cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, Michael Matheson, added, “This deal will drive and deliver projects, designed by local partners, that will help to reinvigorate the region’s economy and build strategically for its long term growth and prosperity. Playing to Argyll and Bute’s strengths, projects will focus on creating a world class visitor destination and building on its world leading marine research expertise reflected in the marine aquaculture programme.

“At a time of such economic uncertainty and challenge, the projects and investment committed through the deal will be more important than ever and will play a key role in the region’s recovery from the pandemic. Investments through the deal will create new jobs, protect existing jobs and extend economic opportunities to communities, businesses and individuals across the region.