£50 million deal for Argyll growth takes step forward

Council Leader Robin Currie.

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Turning Argyll and Bute’s £50 million Rural Growth Deal into action for the area took another step forward as the council’s Policy and Resources committee agreed to invest £150,000 in developing project business cases.

With £50 million secured from the UK and Scottish governments, the next step will be to agree ‘heads of terms’ with both governments which will set out the ways in which the funding will be used for Argyll and Bute.

After that, the council and its partners will have to prepare business cases, setting out the details of each project for investment. The funding will only become available for use once those business cases are agreed with both governments.

Reaching this stage is expected to take up to a year and a half, with projects being delivered over a 10-to-15-year period.

At its meeting on Thursday December 10, the Policy and Resources committee agreed to utilise £150,000 from the council’s Inward Investment Fund to support the development of project business cases and other requirements, such as impact assessments.

Leader of Argyll and Bute Council Councillor Robin Currie said: ‘The Rural Growth Deal is all about putting investment where it will best support the growth of Argyll and Bute’s economy, to benefit the people who live and work here, as well as national economic recovery.

‘The complexity of putting this level of funding to work for Argyll and Bute is huge.

‘Today’s decision will help to ensure we have sufficient resources in place to turn Rural Growth Deal investment into the long term action our economy needs.’

With its partners and feedback from the public, the council developed a series of nine project proposals based on connecting  high value business sectors with national and international business markets; connecting local economic successes with national strategic priorities; attracting additional skills, training and learning opportunities as well as new residents, visitors and businesses; and growing by doing more of what works and making more of the natural and built resources.

The projects that will be taken forward will be agreed with the UK and Scottish Governments when the heads of terms are agreed.

For more information on the background to the rural growth deal, click on the www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/rgd web page.