Biomass and roads targeted for funding

Biomass conversion projects are on the cards for schools including Kilcreggan and Arrochar primaries in a £295,000 project.

And roads across Argyll and Bute look set to benefit after the Scottish Government provided extra funding of £1.2m.

Councillors will be asked next week to approve a programme of carbon management projects, aiming to cut the authority’s carbon footprint by 1264 tonnes CO2.

Kicreggan and Arrochar are among 11 schools which will be studied by consultants and council officials to decide if they are viable for the biomass project.

The council has a CO2 reduction target of 20% and the wok would be funded by prudential borrowing or from reserves – it is thought that the payback period would be less than 15 years.

In addition, six sites including St Joseph’s Primary in Helensburgh may be converted from oil to gas heating, while solar photovoltaic panels could be installed at other locations.

The extra government funding is £35,000 for the current final year and £1,204m for 2013/14 – it has to be spent within 12 months on projects that are ‘ready to go’ but not already funded.

Council managers say roads reconstruction would met both criteria, with a report adding: “This approach would also contribute to… a key element of economic development infrastructure and address feedback that investment in roads/road condition is a high priority for the public.”

Earlier this month it was revealed that road repairs spending was due to be cut by £500,000 over two years, while claims for damage caused by potholes were rising.

The carbon management and roads spending proposals will both be discussed at a full meeting of the council in Lochgilphead next Thursday (March 21).

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