MSP says new fund could boost Oban

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Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has called on Argyll and Bute Council to make the most of the Scottish Government’s plans to introduce a £50 million Town Centre Fund.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced the new fund, which will be available through the local authority settlement, during his draft budget statement last month.

The proposal aims to drive local economic growth by helping town centres to fund projects such as repurposing buildings for retail, business and community enterprise, while improving access and infrastructure.

Mr Russell said: ‘The Finance Secretary’s plans to introduce a new £50 million Town Centre Fund could help transform towns like Oban, and others across Argyll and Bute.

‘The fund will be passed on through the local authority settlement, so it’s up to Argyll and Bute Council to make sure our local town centres see the benefit of this substantial investment through community improvement projects.

‘All high streets across Scotland face challenges as online retail changes the way we shop. But this fund has the potential to stimulate real development in our town centres, to help communities thrive.

‘I hope my parliamentary colleagues from across the political divide will get behind these budget proposals to ensure our town centres across Argyll and Bute and all of Scotland can benefit.’