Council moves to maximise European funding for Argyll and Bute

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Published Date: 

8 Mar 2012 - 14:36


Argyll and Bute Council is to prepare and develop a work programme designed to maximise the drawdown of European funding after next year.

The Executive agreed the proposal after hearing of the authority’s success in securing funding for various projects in the 2007-2013 European programming period.

Among the issues the new work programme will look at are:

  • How the council would like to see European funds delivered in the Highlands and Islands, and across Scotland more generally
  • Which European themes align with Argyll and Bute Council’s priorities and how best the authority can maximise the successful bidding for European funds through the identification of a list of eligible projects
  • How best to inform the future lobbying activity and focus for the council’s European team.

During the current European programming period (2007-2013), Argyll and Bute Council has delivered and is still in the process of delivering projects which have benefited from nearly £7m of funding from various European sources.

Of particular note was the council’s European team facilitating the process to secure £3.95m for the Kintyre Renewables Hub project – the highest European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grant approved by the Highlands and Islands partnership Programme under the current ERDF programme.

Among the other areas to benefit are community access projects, childcare across Argyll and Bute, town centre improvement projects in Bowmore and Dunoon and employability programmes.

Councillor Len Scoullar, Argyll and Bute’s spokesperson for European issues, said: “This council has a strong track record in securing significant amounts of European funding, which has facilitated many very successful projects across the region.

 “However, recent developments in Europe – coupled with the fact that the next funding programme is due to kick off in 2014 – mean that the new structure and system could be different to the existing one.

“We want to stay one step ahead by ensuring that we have done all the necessary research and preparation in order to be able to maximise the amount of European money we can attract to this area post-2014.

“I am delighted that we have now agreed that our European team develop a discrete work programme to ensure we achieve this, and so continue to punch above our weight in this vital funding source which brings so many benefits across Argyll and Bute.”