Council leader’s positive meeting on growth deal

Argyll and Bute Council leader, Councillor Aileen Morton,  with David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland
Argyll and Bute Council leader, Councillor Aileen Morton, with David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland

The case for Argyll and Bute’s Rural Growth Deal had a further boost following the latest “very positive” discussions with the UK Government.

Argyll and Bute Council leader, Councillor Aileen Morton, met with David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, in Lochgilphead last week.

Mr Mundell had travelled to Argyll and Bute for the latest in the council’s series of high-level meetings with both the Scottish and UK governments, making the case for additional investment in the area.

Along with key partners, the council has been working to refine its Rural Growth Deal proposals over the past several months, ahead of a formal pitch to both governments.

Speaking after her meeting with Mr Mundell, Councillor Morton said: “We’re clear that Argyll and Bute is the natural choice for a growth deal – it’s absolutely full of opportunities for economic success and prosperity.

“All of this potential can be unleashed through investment in Argyll and Bute’s key strengths like tourism and business innovation, while also overcoming barriers to growth like housing supply and digital connectivity.

“I was delighted to welcome Mr Mundell to Argyll and Bute to outline our progress over the past few months, and to let him know that local people overwhelmingly back a deal for their communities.

“It was really encouraging to hear that the UK Government is looking forward to receiving our proposals and seeing them go through the process over the coming months.”

The Rural Growth Deal involves Argyll and Bute Council and public, private and voluntary sector partners, putting together a bid designed to attract UK and Scottish Government investment, similar to the City Region Deals, aimed at providing the area with an economic boost.

Councillor Morton added: “Our next steps are further meetings with the Scottish Government at both ministerial and MSP level, scheduled to take place in September.

“It’s great to be going into these meetings with significant support from local people as well as the positive feedback we heard last week

“More and more people are convinced that Argyll is the natural choice for a Rural Growth Deal, and we are determined to make it happen.”