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Argyll and Bute signs £70m rural growth deal

Argyll and Bute Council has signed a £70m rural growth deal with the Scottish and UK government to help develop the local economy.

The deal brings together £25 million each from the Scottish and UK Governments, and at least £20 million via Argyll and Bute Council and partners, creating opportunities for people living in the region and attracting future investment.

The next stage is for the council and its partners to develop outline business cases that will set out the detail of projects for delivery.

Projects will be delivered across Argyll and Bute Work once the detailed business cases are agreed.

Council leader, Cllr Robin Currie said the deal was ‘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,’ he added.

The Scottish transport, infrastructure and connectivity cabinet secretary, Michael Matheson said: ‘Today marks the signing of the heads of terms agreement, a significant step forward for the Argyll and Bute Rural Growth Deal. The Scottish Government is supporting this deal with investment of up to £25 million.

‘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,’ added Mr Matheson.

‘I appreciate all the hard work that Argyll and Bute Council and their partners have put in to get us to this point. We will continue to work with Argyll and Bute Council over the coming months, to help them develop the projects to unlock investment and drive inclusive growth across the area as swiftly as possible.’

Photo Credit – Edar (Pixabay)

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