Campus for Mull to take another step forward

Work will progress on developing an outline business case for bringing a multi-million pound school and community campus to Mull, following a decision at today’s meeting of full Council.

The potential costs and benefits of a campus were outlined in a report setting out the challenges in delivering what is described as ‘one of the most substantial community infrastructure projects on the island in a generation’.

The cost of building the campus is estimated at £43 million. The council secured LEIP (Learning Estate Investment Programme) funding from the Scottish Government, which would provide up to 50% of eligible costs. However the council would have to provide the full funding up front. The costs of borrowing such a significant level of funding, as well as covering costs not eligible for LEIP support, could increase the demand on the council to as much as £113 million over the lifetime of the loans.

A campus would be expected to deliver educational, economic and regeneration benefits for both the island and wider area.

To satisfy LEIP funding criteria, the campus would be built to high digital and environmental standards, providing inclusive learning opportunities aimed overall at improving education outcomes for young people.

It would provide leisure and learning resources for the wider community. 

Economically, investment on this scale would be expected to act as an anchor development, attracting other inward investment or unlocking more funding streams. 

A campus would also be expected to be a wider attraction for families wishing to stay on, or relocate to the island and so support Argyll and Bute’s need to grow its population. 

While recognising the potential benefits, the report to Council also highlights that the reality of the council’s budget outlook means that difficult decisions will be needed to balance future years’ budget.

The decision today means that the council will develop an outline business case, including factors that will significantly impact costs such as the preferred site selected, design of the campus,  community facilities and availability of infrastructure.

This outline business case will be developed with community in-put, including a site selection, process with community and statutory engagement the first step. 

The full business case, including more detailed proposals for the campus and costs will be considered again by councillors in late 2026, and at other significant milestones, before the campus could move to a construction phase which is provisionally forecast for 2027 with opening late 2028.

Councillor Audrey Forrest, Policy Lead for Education said:

“We would like to deliver a campus for Mull. There’s no question about that. It has the potential to deliver important benefits for our young people, the island and wider area. 

At the same time however we have to be realistic about what is possible. 

Our decision today is about remaining ambitious for Argyll and Bute, and doing what we can as a council to deliver what communities want. 

While more difficult decisions lie ahead, this is an exciting next step towards a campus for Mull.” 


Did you find what you were looking for?

Why wasn't this information helpful

Limit to 250 characters.