Regeneration via books and a bridge
A couple of concepts revived again this week may help regeneration in the west. Scotland has so many cultural and trade links to Ireland it is amazing a bridge has not been built. It is possible to travel 972 miles from Stockholm to Brussels without ever using a ferry. Yet the only link from Scotland – north of Cairnryan, which itself is not on a motorway – to Ireland, is via a 12-person, Kintyre Express RIB from Campbeltown. The contrast could not be more stark. The two great nations are separated by a channel 14 miles wide with no road transport leaving a choice between flying or travelling on a super-size speedboat. Book festivals are springing up in many Argyll places yet Kintyre, which has a rich literary tradition, is the poor relation. That may change if there is a will to create and run a MOK Book or similar. The Malts Festival has become well established. Perhaps it would be good to nurse a dram and discuss a good book – and it is more likely than a £20 billion bridge.