Coun­cil makes am­bi­tious bids for around £10 mil­lion of fund­ing

The Oban Times - - News -

AM­BI­TIOUS plans to se­cure £10 mil­lion of fund­ing were pre­sented to Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil at a meet­ing last Thurs­day Jan­uary 19, writes Louise Glen.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s En­vi­ron­ment, De­vel­op­ment and In­fra­struc­ture (EDI) Com­mit­tee was up­dated on the scope of ex­ter­nal fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tions to sup­port eco­nomic growth projects through­out the coun­cil area.

On­go­ing projects have se­cured just over £9 mil­lion 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 for £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. She said: ‘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.’

Coun­cil­lor Aileen Mor­ton.

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