MORE than 1,600 households across Argyll and Bute have made use of a council fund to support those suffering from food and fuel insecurities.

The council’s depute leader, Helensburgh Central Conservative councillor Gary Mulvaney, has also reported that the Flexible Food Fund has secured funding for the next two years.

The fund was introduced in January 2021, and was supporting 550 households within its first seven months. It can be used by Argyll and Bute residents aged 16 and over who receive benefits or a low income and have no savings.

Councillor Mulvaney’s report will go before the full council on Thursday, April 27.

He said: “As at January 31, 2023 the project has supported 1,658 households who are suffering from food and fuel insecurities in Argyll and Bute, with a combined client gain of £2,381,461 which is an average gain of £1,436 per household.

“The project has attracted funding of £204,000 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for each of the next two financial years and we have identified the funds to make up the shortfall to allow the project to continue for at least the next two years.”

Councillor Mulvaney also gave an update on two important projects in Argyll and Bute – Helensburgh Waterfront and Rothesay Pavilion.

He said: “I am delighted to report that phase two of the £23 million investment to Helensburgh’s waterfront is officially complete and open to the public.

“Following on from the huge benefits that are being realised from the investment in the leisure centre and swimming pool, these further works create a vibrant and attractive waterfront for the community, including new seating areas, all-ability access to the pier and resurfacing, an additional 100 parking spaces, and a new footpath.

“I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to everyone involved in this incredible project, in particular the commercial services team, as it has been a team effort to get to this stage.

“We now move into the third and final phase of the development, which will bring commercial and employment opportunities to further support the town centre.

“The council, at their budget meeting held on February 23, agreed the recommendations from the policy and resources committee held on February 16 for a continuation of the project.”

Additional capital funding of £3.1m has been made available for the Rothesay Pavilion project, which will have a three-stage approach for the completion of works.