Regeneration through books and a bridge

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A couple of concepts revived again this week may help regeneration in the west.

Scotland has so many cultural and trade links to Ireland it is amazing a bridge has not been built.

It is possible to travel 972 miles from Stockholm to Brussels without ever using a ferry.

Yet the only link from Scotland – north of Cairnryan, which itself is not on a motorway – to Ireland, is via a 12-person, Kintyre Express RIB from Campbeltown.

The contrast could not be more stark. The two great nations are separated by a channel, 14 miles wide, with no road transport leaving a choice between flying or travelling on a super size speedboat.

Book festivals are springing up in many Argyll places yet Kintyre which has a rich literary tradition is the poor relation.

That may change if there is a will to create and run a MOK Book or similar.

The Malts Festival has become well established.

Perhaps it would be good to nurse a dram and discuss a good read – and it is more likely than a £20 billion bridge.