A major project undertaken by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to explore potential for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage has been awarded £260,000 from the UK Government.

Granted through the UK Community Renewal Fund, the project is known as ‘optimising carbon sequestration for community wealth building’ and aims to assess the CO2 storage potential of Argyll and Bute’s geology.

The bids submitted by the islands are worth over £2m and the award one of the largest in Scotland.

HIE will also explore ways to attract investment, in addition to holding public, private and community engagement opportunities.

Commenting on the project, Dr. Zoe Laird, Regional Head of Communities, Lead Officer for the project, HIE, said, “With COP26 in Scotland having recently drawn to a close, the need for action to address climate change and achieve our ambitious net zero targets has never been clearer.”

Stating that the islands of Argyll and Bute could benefit ‘considerably’ environmentally and economically, she added, “We expect there will be a great deal of interest in this work from many other areas rich in natural resources that might have similar potential.”

The project is due for completion in June 2022.