The council has agreed to release funding of £25,000 for research into the possibility of creating a seawater intake pipe pumping system that could eventually serve a new aquaculture hub in Machrihanish.
A report provided to councillors at today’s (August 16) meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee outlined how developing a state of the art land-based aquaculture innovation hub at Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) will lead to a variety of small business and research units growing up around the site with the potential to significantly improve employment and further investment opportunities for the local economy.
Stirling University, which has its Marine Environmental Research Laboratory at Machrihanish, has recently opened discussions between MACC, HIE and Argyll and Bute Council on the development of a seawater intake pipe pumping system that is a critical first step in the development of an aquaculture hub. The feasibility study will look specifically at the creation of the seawater pipeline.
Following the P&R Committee’s approval of the recommendation to release the funding, Councillor Aileen Morton, Policy Lead for Economic Development, said: “It is a key priority of this council to attract investment in Argyll and Bute and to make the area as attractive as possible for people to live and work, and for businesses to invest. The development of an aquaculture hub at MACC is exactly the kind of thing that we believe can set us apart from other parts of Scotland and give us a real chance to improve employment opportunities and bring in future investment. This feasibility study will give us a clearer picture of what is possible at the site and I’m pleased that we have been able to progress this idea one step further with this funding.”
The feasibility study will cost £50,000 in total, with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) providing the remaining £25,000.