Council pays £96,000 for people to relocate to Argyll and Bute (or some parts of it)

A fund encouraging people and businesses to move to Argyll and Bute has paid out over £96,000 – none of it in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.

Despite having slashed its spending for several years, Argyll and Bute Council set up a Rural Resettlement Fund in 2016 in a bid to stop the area’s population falling.

A total of £500,000 is available to people and companies relocating to the area, with the council paying foir an eight-week online advertising campaign this summer.

But a new report shows that so far £80,000 has been shared between ’35 new Argyll and Bute residents’, while three self-employed people have set up business – in Colonsay, Bute and Dunoon.

But while Bute has gained a new patisserie, the Helensburgh area has so far received no payouts at all from the new fund.

No grants have been approved at all for Helensburgh and Lomond, despite 17 being awarded for other areas.

This could be explained by the council’s promotion of the scheme, which includes this video, made by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, a body which is not responsible for the Helensburgh area:

The council’s policy and resources committee next week is asked to note a report which gives no explanation for these apparent anomalies.

It admits that take-up for the self-employment relocation grant has been slow – only three applications were received – and that no-one at all has applied for a business relocation grant.