The fist political response in Argyll to the £500 million investment in infrastructure at HM Naval Base Clyde, announced yesterday by Chancellor George Osborne has come from Jamie McGrigor Highlands and Islands MSP and Donald Cameron, Scottish Conservative Candidate for Argyll & Bute.
The investment – in a rage of construction projects over ten years, was said by Mr Osborne to be designed to ensure that Faslane remains the centre of UK submarine operations for the next generation.
Donald Cameron says: ‘As well as Faslane’s critical strategic importance in terms of the UK’s defences, the facility is vital to the economy of the whole of Argyll & Bute, underpinning many thousands of local jobs both directly at the base itself and in the wider community.
‘The Chancellor’s announcement is a very welcome and significant boost to the area’s future and demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to Scotland and the role we play at the forefront of the UK’s defence and security capabilities.’
Jamie McGrigor MSP says: ‘Faslane presently hosts around 6,700 military and civilian staff and contractors but this will increase to about 8,200 by 2022 based on submarine capacity alone.
‘The Chancellor’s announcement of additional infrastructure development will also create many jobs in the construction sector.
‘At a time when Argyll & Bute’s population is predicted to decline sharply, having such a nationally important facility in the area is hugely important.
‘Yesterday’s news contrasts sharply with the SNP’s naïve defence plans that would risk national security while also devastating the economy of the area.’