Council support for Argyll business growth

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Argyll and Bute Council is encouraging business owners to take advantage of its successful Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme, which is due to run until the end of 2021.

The programme – worth a total of £855,239- is funded by the council and the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

The programme gives growing local businesses the chance to access specialist advice and grant funding to help them expand.

Councillor Alastair Redman, Argyll and Bute Council policy lead for economic growth, said: ‘Support worth nearly £350,000 has been provided so far, helping 72 businesses across Argyll and Bute to deliver their growth plans. We can already see that these supported businesses have grown their combined turnover by £3.1 million and taken on another 54 employees.

‘With more than £500,000 still available from the programme, we can assist the growth of many more businesses. Supporting businesses is a key part of our Economic Strategy and our drive to attract more people to live and work in Argyll and Bute.’

The growth grant funding can cover 50 per cent of costs up to £5,000 for projects linked to business growth. An employer/graduate placement grant can provide 50 per cent of basic salary costs up to £12,000 where a wholly additional full-time permanent employee or a graduate placement of six to 12 months is required to support business growth.

In addition, businesses in key growth sectors – tourism, food and drink, forestry, the creative industries, energy, life sciences, financial services or defence – can also access grants of up to £1,500 to support training, accreditation or attendance at trade fairs.

The specialist help on offer from subject experts includes up to two days of free advice on human resources, eCommerce, marketing, growth strategy, funding and tendering.

Anyone wanting to find out more or to check their eligibility should visit or talk to a Business Gateway adviser on 01546 808363.

Workshop programme proves popular with businesses

Business Gateway Argyll and Bute launched its autumn workshop schedule in September, and since then 28 free business skills workshops have taken place, with more than 250 attendees in total.

The programme features a wide range of new and refreshed topics, including digital skills, marketing, self-assessment, business start-up and book-keeping.

More workshops are running between November and January but with spaces filling up fast anyone keen to take part is urged to book now via 01546 808363 or visit

Workshops coming up soon in Lochgilphead include ‘Introduction to Social Media’ on November 26 and ‘Practical Basic Book-keeping’ on December 11. Taking place in Campbeltown on January 14 is ‘PR on a Budget’.

Brexit planning for business

Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies are urging all businesses in Scotland to continue to actively prepare for Brexit.

The advice is to act now to build resilience and ensure you have the right contingency plans in place, deal or no deal, to protect your business, supply chain and customers.

Advice and information at will help you identify the areas to consider and actions you should take, as well as details of the £4,000 Brexit Support Grant.