Argyll and Bute Council welcomed the report, published yesterday (23 February) by the Chair of the Argyll and Bute Economic Forum, on actions needed to ensure economic prosperity for the area.
In his role as Chair of the Forum Nicholas Ferguson CBE, Chair of Sky plc, recognized Argyll and Bute as one of Scotland’s most promising regions and underlines the importance of a vision, shared across all sectors, in developing its full potential.
Councillor Dick Walsh, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council said:
“The fact that Argyll and Bute has the backing of a business voice as authoritative as that of Nicholas Ferguson underlines its great potential for economic success. The Council is ambitious for our area, we are confident in its ability for growth and we are committed to doing all we as a council can do to build prosperity.
“No single agency alone however can do all that our economy needs to thrive. This report highlights that fact, and provides recommendations in how to build on the work we and our partners have already been doing.”
At its recent budget meeting (on 11 February), the Council agreed a package of measures that will see investment of £75 million in securing employment and prosperity for the area by attracting more people to Argyll and Bute.
Policy Lead for Sustainable Economic Growth, Councillor Aileen Morton said:
“Argyll and Bute is one of only five local authority areas in Scotland whose population is falling. Of those five, we are the only area excluded from investment through the national three island or City Deal support initiatives.
“There needs to be a rural regeneration initiative that recognizes the challenges of an authority that brings together the highest number of inhabited islands, and one of the largest mainland areas in Scotland.
“Argyll and Bute Council is stepping up and putting funding behind this call for recognition and support.
“This report underlines the importance of everyone who contributes to a region coming together and giving whatever support they can.
“The report also gives an idea of the value that investment in Argyll and Bute could deliver both for the local economy and Scotland as a whole.
“We attract profile and spend through tourism, the quality of our food and drink produce and the ‘educational gem’, SAMS, (Scottish Association for Marine Science), that attracts many foreign as well as UK students.
“We provide a fruitful home for the private sector, with private sector jobs increasing by 6% between 2009 and 2013.
“We are beating the averages in the number and growth of small businesses, usually family owned.
“The regeneration investments we have made in key towns such as Helensburgh, Oban, Dunoon,Rothesay and Campbeltown are already delivering benefits. Additional funding will build opportunities in Mid Argyll and across the area generally.
“The business successes already achieved, the opportunities for further growth, and the commitment from key organisations and individuals to the area indeed make Argyll and Bute one of Scotland’s most promising regions.
Long term success is about everyone involved in the life of the Argyll and Bute coming together to build its future prosperity.”
You can read the full report here: http://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/economic-forum-report