The council has been nominated in the Service, Innovation and Improvement category of the COSLA Excellence Award for its use of drones in delivering school meals. COSLA is the voice of local government in Scotland.

The council plans to create the UK’s first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) logistics and training hub at Oban Airport through its Rural Growth Deal.

New funding of £250,000, secured from the UK Government’s Regulator’s Pioneer Fund through a competitive bid process, will now enable further trials to take place later this year.

Cllr Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: ‘Here in Argyll and Bute, we are demonstrating what is possible. We know that delivering school meals by drone was a UK first and it’s fantastic to see the hard work recognised in our award nomination. We now want to explore what else is possible and look at the benefits to our communities and wider industry.

‘The new funding will enable us to prove that drones can co-exist with piloted general aviation and deliver essential services in minimal time. At the same time, as we work across services to reduce carbon emissions, the use of green technology will help us achieve net zero by 2045.’

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