This beautiful part of Scotland is developing itself as the home of business innovation and an enviable work-life balance lifestyle. Its £70 million rural growth deal (RGD) is key to that.
The RGD, funded by Argyll and Bute Council, and £50 million jointly from the Scottish and UK Governments, focuses on connecting its high value business sectors with national and international markets, attracting skills, and growing its economy through its significant natural resources.
The RGD’s ambitious initiatives focus on transforming the area’s strengths into future economic success. They are based on the following key themes:-
- Tourism – Creating a World Class Visitor Destination: develop the area as a West of Scotland “must visit” location for the maritime leisure market through the regeneration of key coastal towns.
- Creating a Low Carbon Economy: pioneer decarbonising rural energy networks as part of our drive to develop climate-friendly Argyll and Bute, and alleviate local fuel poverty.
- Rural Skills Accelerator Programme: deliver 21st century infrastructure for skills, training, and enterprise.
- Housing to Attract Economic Growth: provide island housing for local workers.
- West Coast UAV Logistics and Training 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.
- Digital Connectivity: Improving the regions digital infrastructure to futureproof the local economy and facilitate changes to the way we live, work and do business.
- Clyde Engineering and Innovation Centre: develop a centre for engineering and innovation linked to the expansion HMNB Clyde.
- Marine Aquaculture Programme: working in partnership with HIE, UHI Argyll, SAMS and Stirling University to grow the blue economy and establish Argyll and Bute as a national and international centre for excellence in innovation and research.
To keep up-to-date with the RGD’s progress, and opportunities for investment in it, see argyll-bute.gov.uk/rgd