Areas for Investment

TarbertOur rural growth deal proposals are about placing investment where it will best develop Argyll as a successful region and economic driver for Scotland and the UK.

We developed them in discussion with partners, and with feedback from the public.

The proposals are designed to deliver success across Argyll, based on three key drivers:

  • Connecting: our high value business sectors with national and international business markets; our local economic successes with national strategic priorities
  • Attracting: additional skills, training and learning opportunities; new residents, visitors and businesses
  • Growing: doing more of what works; making more of our natural and built resources

The £70 million investment will be used to progress:

  • Aquaculture:
    • develop the area as a national and international centre for excellence in innovation and research 
    • create a marine industry training centre to support the growth of marine sectors
  • Tourism:
    • develop the area as a West of Scotland “must visit” location for the maritime leisure market.
    • deliver waterfront infrastructure to support the regeneration of some of Argyll and Bute’s key coastal towns and villages.
  • Low carbon economy:
    • use renewable energy resources to help deliver more sustainable local energy systems on Islay.
  • Rural skills accelerator programme:
    • deliver 21st century infrastructure for skills, training, education and enterprise to support growth and work opportunities for rural communities.
  • Housing to attract economic growth:
    • provide affordable housing for key workers to support growing business sectors, and help attract the people and skills the area needs.
  • Clyde engineering and innovation cluster:
    • develop local economic benefits, from the MOD’s Maritime Change Programme, by addressing the lack of commercial accommodation for supply services.
  • West Coast Aviation, UAV, robotics and compliance hub:
    • develop Oban Airport as a leading research and development centre for unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technologies and the UK’s first dedicated drone training centre with indoor facilities.
  • Argyll and Bute digital connectivity:
    • roll out superfast broadband to key areas without it, and expand 4G and 5G coverage.

The council, UK and Scottish Governments agreed the ‘Heads of Terms’ on 11th February 2021. This sets out the general areas for investment.

You can read the Head of Terms Agreement here