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Argyll & Bute

Business Gateway Argyll and Bute are here to support businesses based in Argyll and Bute. We offer free and impartial business advice to anyone wanting to start up or develop a business within Argyll and Bute. We can provide a wealth of information tailored to your business needs, and the local office in Lochgilphead offers one to one support from a business adviser as well as holding a range of locally run courses.

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can help you, even if starting up still seems a way off.

Our website is a great place to begin: we offer a business plan guide to download when you’re ready, market reports as well as handy online guides and articles, video tutorials and podcasts. Take part in our webinars to hone your start-up skills – from how to handle the legal requirements to getting your market research right.

Plus use our Planning to Start tool to guide you through the essential steps of starting up. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and then we can then use the details you give us to create your action plan, complete with links to relevant information and support.

We’ll also recommend free webinars to help you hone your skills and may refer you to relevant support from our partners.

A business adviser from your local office will also get in touch to see how else we can help at this stage and signpost you to a wide range of other support across Scotland.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Maintaining a business or moving up a gear can be more daunting than starting up, so our support continues and grows with your business.

We know that your time is in short supply, so we offer 1:1 advice at a time and day to suit you. Together, you and your business adviser can tailor a strategic action plan to your ambitions. Need targeted advice on HR, Restructuring, Innovation, Exporting or Digital Marketing? Your adviser can help with that too. And if you need more specialist input, we can connect you with other sources of support.

Use our resources, support and tools to learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence.

We run around 3,500 events each year across Scotland, with webinars on topics from bookkeeping to social media.

  • For free, comprehensive business intelligence and market research, you can turn to our Information Service.
  • Browse our online A-Z of over 100 market reports or request a free report if your market sector isn’t covered.
  • Our handy guides explain how to create a business plan, digital marketing strategy, HR, intellectual property and other essentials that can help your business through these challenging times.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office today.

Digital Business Skills with DigitalBoost

Setting up a website is a great start, but DigitalBoost can help you to make the most of your online presence.

Tap into our free local webinars, 1:1 expert adviser support and online tools and tutorials to help you improve your digital performance. Our DigitalBoost guides have been downloaded 20,000 times and some 1,200 workshops have together attracted more than 14,000 business people.

A DigitalBoost HealthCheck can pinpoint your digital strengths, where you could do more and how we can help. Take five minutes now to fill in our form and discover how to give your business a real boost.

Redundancy support for people and businesses in Scotland

Your local Business Gateway office can offer free support to any business considering making redundancies.

Our advisers can help you look at your business challenges and then help you make the next practical steps. Along with that we can introduce you to PACE – Partnership Action for Continuing Employment.

Local Growth Accelerator Programme

Business Gateway may be able to provide additional support to help your business grow through the European funded Local Growth Accelerator Programme. This support can include specialist advice and funding.


The Argyll and Bute Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator programme is available to businesses aiming to increase their turnover by £50,000 or more within the next three years. Businesses must be:

  • based in Argyll and Bute
  • micro, small or medium sized (fewer than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover or balance sheet total of less than €43m)
  • not Account Managed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise or Scottish Enterprise
  • not operating solely as retailers

By exception, businesses with growth ambitions below the £50,000 increase in turnover may be considered for support where 3 or more of the following apply:

  • the growth plan includes innovation and/or exporting out with Scotland
  • the business operates in a key growth sector – Tourism, Food and Drink, Forestry, Creative Industries, Energy (including renewables), Life Sciences, Defence and Financial & Business Services
  • the growth plan includes job creation – full time additional jobs, paid at least the Scottish Living Wage
  • the business will help strengthen the economy within a fragile area or area of employment deficit (as defined by Highlands and Islands Enterprise)

Business Gateway Argyll and Bute will confirm your eligibility for this programme.

If you are eligible for this programme, a Business Gateway adviser will develop a growth plan with you and help you access relevant support.

To Register

The registration form for the Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme is available to download below or from the local Business Gateway office. You must register for the programme before you can apply for support.

Support Available

Specialist Advice

Application deadline 31 October 2021 or sooner if funds are fully allocated

One to two days of free advice from a subject expert, covering:

  • HR: recruiting, managing and developing people
  • Digital/E-commerce
  • Marketing
  • PR
  • Growth Strategy
  • Procurement/Tendering
  • Finance

Grant Funding

  • Business Growth Grant up to £5,000 – Application deadline 31 October 2021 or sooner if funds are fully allocated
  • Employment / Graduate Placement Grant up to £12,000 - Application deadline 31 December 2020 or sooner if funds are fully allocated
  • Key Growth Sector Grant up to £1,500 for Trade Fair attendance, Training Grant and Accreditation Grant - Application deadline 31 October 2021 or sooner if funds are fully allocated.

Next Steps

To find out more about Argyll and Bute Business Gateway Local Growth Accelerator Programme or to register for the programme please call the local Business Gateway team on 01546 604555.

This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes.

Between 1 October 2015 and 31 December 2022, the programme will provide specialist advice and grants to eligible SMEs based in Argyll and Bute, to a total programme value of £855,239.

The aim of the programme is to increase the assistance available to accelerate the growth of SMEs in the Argyll and Bute Council area, by extending the scope of Business Gateway support. The operation will engage 142 unique SMEs across the range of activities designed to support growth.

Local Support

Whether you are considering an idea, taking the first steps or have been running a business for years, we have the experience to advise you at every stage and help you develop your business.

Planning To Start

Find out what support and tools are available to you by answering a few simple questions with our Planning To Start tool. Then get contact from your local office to take your business idea forward.

Local Advisers

Our local advisers can help all ranges of businesses from start-ups to those that are looking to grow and expand. So whatever your need or question get in touch with us to find out more.

Help with business rates

There are a number of relief schemes available which offer reduced non-domestic rates for qualifying businesses. These include relief for small businesses (Small Business Bonus Scheme), empty properties, charities, rural businesses, renewable energy producers and nursing care establishments. For more information call 01586 555249.

Planning and Building Standards

Advice and guidance on planning issues is available. Find out online if you need planning permission or a building warrant, make an application, find out about an application that has been made, or find out more about long term policies such as the Local Plan. For more information call 01546 605518.


To find out if you need a licence, permit or permission for your business and how you can apply visit below for more details. Many licences can be applied for online.

Environmental Health

The work undertaken by Environmental Health includes food safety, environmental protection, public health and housing, environmental health licensing, animal health and welfare and occupational health and safety. Advice and information is available to help businesses within Argyll and Bute ensure compliance with this legislation. Call 01546 605519 or visit below.

Trading Standards

Trading Standards helps to maintain a fair and safe trading environment where local businesses and consumers can thrive. Advice and information is available to help businesses within Argyll and Bute ensure compliance with this legislation. Call 01546 605519 or visit below for more details.

Business Improvement Districts (BID’s)

Business Improvement Districts have been set up to help build stronger communities in Scotland. These business improvement districts are about businesses working together and investing collectively in local improvements, which will benefit the businesses involved and the towns they are based in. Argyll and Bute have two Business Improvement Districts in Oban and Dunoon.

If you would like to know more or want to get involved you can contact the local BID's teams as follows:

Oban - 01631 5699156 or email

Dunoon - 01369 704311 or email

Oban BID's

Dunoon BID's

Chambers of Commerce

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce provide business support, business policy and business mentoring to Scottish businesses across Scotland.

The Chambers of Commerce enables businesses owners to share information and resources and to speak to people who understand the problems they are facing and who may be able to offer useful advice and support.

The Chambers of Commerce operates in two areas of Argyll, Helensburgh and Lomond and Mid Argyll.

Mid Argyll Chamber of Commerce Secretary:

Jane MacLeod
01546 606666

The Women's Business Centre

The Women’s Business Centre is a digital platform designed to support women at the pre start-up and start up stages of their business journey. Operated by Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the website is free to access and offers dedicated, needs-based content on starting and growing a business, including stories, encouragement and top tips from leading business owners across Scotland.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

SDP is a public sector partnership which delivers a variety of FREE tender training, via classroom style workshops working in conjunction with Local Authorities across Scotland, digitally via webinar and also provides a range of online resources connecting businesses with the Scottish public sector. Registration for SDP events is free for Scottish SMEs, and will connect your business with your local authority’s SDP Rep who can offer your business additional support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Lochgilphead

Whitegates Office
Whitegates Road
PA31 8SY
Get directions
01546 808 009

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00

Business Gateway Helensburgh

Helensburgh & Lomond Civic Centre
38 East Clyde Street
G84 7PG
Get directions
01546 808 009

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00