Argyll and Bute Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure (EDI) Committee was updated yesterday (Thursday 19th January) on the ambitious scope of external funding applications to support economic growth projects throughout the council area.
Ongoing projects have secured just over £9million from external sources such as Historic Environment Scotland, Sustrans and the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport. With the council also committing money for these projects – ranging from bus infrastructure upgrades to major town centre regeneration projects – this means that every pound of council investment goes further, being multiplied many times with the help of outside funding.
There are also bids in to sources such as the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund as well as the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund, with a total ask of £9,636,058.
Councillor Aileen Morton, Policy Lead for Sustainable Economic Growth, welcomed the update and the positive work in bringing money into the area, saying:
“The figures are hugely impressive, but it’s about so much more than that. The council has made a lot of ambitious investments in recent years, and it’s always a big decision to spend public money on a given improvement project. These council investments give real confidence not just to private investors but to external funding agencies, showing them that our commitment to regeneration and economic growth is equal to theirs, giving them the certainty that their investments will really make things happen in Argyll and Bute.
“I cannot emphasise enough how competitive these funds are, and it’s a testament to the expertise of our officers, and the ambition of our developments, that we have such a successful track record of securing external investment.
“The money brought in so far has made a real difference to people in Argyll and Bute, revolutionising town centres and creating jobs. Projects are about people – creating jobs for them, upgrading their town centres, putting measures in which will make their lives better.
“It’s so encouraging to see the range of our ambition set out in the report which came to yesterday’s committee meeting. It’s time to talk up the future of Argyll and Bute, one of Scotland’s most promising areas.”