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Jim Mather (Scottish National Party)
The Scottish Government recognises the unique challenges that face Scotland’s rural communities and is firmly committed to maintaining the supportive business environment necessary to secure existing jobs while creating new employment and investment opportunities in Campbeltown and the rest of Kintyre. We continue to work with our partners - Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Scottish Development International (SDI), Argyll and Bute Council and others in the public, private and third sectors - towards that end.
Campbeltown and Machrihanish are identified in the National Renewables Infrastructure Plan, as key sites for offshore wind manufacturing, operations and maintenance. The Scottish Government, HIE and SDI have been working closely with the administrators at Skykon, Ernst & Young, and with Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE). This has resulted in Wind Towers Ltd, a joint venture between SSE and Marsh Wind Technology, securing preferred bidder status for the site. HIE will continue to work with the joint venture partners over the coming weeks as the details of the bid are finalised.
Amongst the other projects HIE is supporting in the area is a major tourism and leisure project, which is expected to create 67 direct full-time equivalents (FTEs), gross employment impacts of 131 FTEs and GVA of £3.39 million.
Investment support is also available through the Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). The LEADER scheme is one part of the SRDP and its aim is to increase the capacity of the local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, and encourage innovation and co-operation in order to tackle local development objectives. In Argyll and the Islands, which includes Campbeltown and Kintyre, £8,890,000 million is available to support investment and jobs over the 2007-13 rural development programme period.