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Argyll and Bute to get £25m 'growth deal' cash injection

Scottish Secretary announced investment package for the region at Tory conference.

Growth deal: Towns like Oban set to benefit.
Growth deal: Towns like Oban set to benefit. CC by dun_deagh

A £25m cash injection has been promised by the UK Government as part of a growth deal for Argyll and Bute.

Scottish secretary Alister Jack announced the investment package at Conservative party conference in Manchester.

It is the tenth city and region growth deal to benefit Scotland, with the Scottish Government vowing to match the funding with Whitehall long with extra local investment.

However, a Scottish minister accused his UK counterparts of "simply re-announcing money that has already been committed".

Speaking at a conference event on Wednesday about strengthening the union, the Scottish secretary said: "Today I can announce £25m for a new growth deal for Argyll and Bute.

"To date we have already invested £1.4bn in our city and growth deal programme in Scotland, transforming local economies and creating high skill jobs.

"And we are going to complete the programme - with deals for Falkirk and the islands to be announced in the near future."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1441179-johnson-hints-at-blocking-sturgeon-from-un-climate-summit/ | default

Jack continued: "We have announced a £1.25bn contract to build the Royal Navy's new Type 31 frigates in Fife.

"They couldn't go to the Clyde because it has no capacity left - another success story.

"We are bringing the international COP26 Climate Conference to Glasgow.

"We are introducing post-study work visas which will bring the brightest and the best to Scotland's world renowned universities.

"And, as the Prime Minister announced in Aberdeenshire, we are providing an extra £211m for Scottish farmers, resolving the long-running dispute over CAP allocations."

https://stv.tv/news/politics/1441217-scottish-tories-brought-into-line-with-uk-government/ | default

But responding to the Argyll and Bute pledge, Scottish infrastructure secretary Michael Matheson said: "The UK Government is simply re-announcing money that has already been committed.

"The Scottish Government has made clear our commitment to invest in the Argyll and Bute growth deal, and we have been ready to do so for some considerable time.

"On the basis of our 50:50 approach to funding growth deals, we will of course match the £25mannounced by the UK Government - adding to the £1.8bn we have committed to city and growth Deals across Scotland.

"We will help our Argyll and Bute partners develop and refine the projects they think will have the transformative effect on the local economy that we all want to see.

"We will announce a heads of terms agreement shortly, which will outline the projects that will be supported by this joint investment."

The Argyll and Bute package is the latest in a series of city and region deals agreed between the Scottish and UK Governments.

It follows similar agreements in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Aberdeen, Inverness and Highland and the Tay cities deal covering Dundee, Perth and Kinross, Fife and Angus.

More recently, growth deals have also been announced this year for the borderlands (including parts of England and Scotland), Ayrshire and Moray.

https://stv.tv/news/north/1439186-governments-agree-deal-to-pump-65m-into-moray-economy/ | default

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