£271 million set for Argyll investment

Tourism in Argyll & The Isles stands to benefit from investment of over £271 million in infrastructure development projects over the next three years, a joint initiative between VisitScotland and its key local and national partners has revealed.

The updated Tourism Development Framework, first published in 2013, aims to highlight the importance of the visitor economy within the wider investment and infrastructure plans of local and national agencies.  The Framework is closely aligned to and supports the contributions of the industry-led “Tourism Scotland 2020” strategy. 

The £271 million figure for Argyll & The Isles represents overall public and private sector investment in major infrastructure projects being delivered across the region that is expected to have an impact on the visitor economy and support tourism growth. 

Key projects in the region include:

Argyll Lorn Arc (Pier, road link, airport and renewables project) - £144 million
CHORD (Campbeltown, Helensburgh, Oban, Rothesay, Dunoon) town centre regeneration - £30 million
Dunoon Waterfront including Queens Hall refurbishment - £11 million
Isle of Bute Pavilion community arts and sports hub - £11 million
Bute Estate - £8 million
Oban Bay & Harbour - £6.9 million
Helensburgh Esplanade - £6.7 million

Transport is one of the key themes of the refreshed Tourism Development Framework, with travelling around Scotland a key part of the experience for visitors.  Investment projects aimed at enhancing the customer’s transport experience are valued at over £8 billion. Major projects include:

Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project
Queensferry Crossing
Upgrades to improve Scotland’s popular scenic routes, including the dualling of the A9 from Perth to Inverness, and routes in Dumfries & Galloway
Significant improvements to rail, ferry and airport infrastructure

VisitScotland research has found that cars are the most popular mode of transport used by domestic visitors to Scotland. On average, there were 8.2 million domestic trips to Scotland by car each year from 2006 up to 2014*. In addition, the use of trains to Scotland has increased since the economic downturn, with on average of 1.6 million domestic trips to Scotland each year up to 2014*. 

Digital investment worth £486 million is also outlined within the Framework, including plans to deliver fibre broadband access to at least 95% of premises in Scotland by the end of 2017.  And Argyll & The Isles will benefit from £146 million which is being invested in superfast broadband across all Highlands and Islands Enterprise council areas.

The Framework, which is supported by all 32 of Scotland’s  local authorities and a range of national agencies, identifies projects that are due to start or be completed over the next three years covering all aspects of the visitor experience including digital, transport, accommodation, nature, heritage, towns and cities, and events and festivals. The total amount of investment across Scotland up to 2019 is estimated to be over £16 billion.  

The Tourism Development Framework for Scotland can be downloaded at

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