Oban Regeneration - The Lorn Arc

The Lorn Arc programme - a catalyst for change

View over Oban BayWhat is the aim of the programme?

The project aims to develop vital infrastructure which will attract new businesses to the Lorn Arc area and create jobs for the people of Argyll and Bute

What is the programme?

The council will implement a programme of strategic infrastructure investment over the next 6 years, starting with a £600,000 project to enable a business park development at Oban Airport, which started on 1st September 2014.

More information on this particular project can be found on the Oban Airport Access Improvements page.

Following that the council aims to invest the remainder of the £18.9M in the Dunbeg Gateway, the Halfwayhouse roundabout/ Dunbeg development road, the south Oban development zone, the North Pier and the Barcaldine business space.

More information can be found below:

Why the Lorn Arc?

Map of Lorn Arc development areaOban's unique geographic location and function as the "Gateway to the Isles", combined with its marine resources, world class research, transport connectivity, quality of environment and produce represent distinct factors of economic advantage.

This area has significant economic growth potential in the marine science; marine tourism; aquaculture and renewable energy sectors, as well as the opportunities to grow associated businesses

Argyll and Bute Council’s vision is to turn the Oban area into the main hub on the west coast of Scotland for offshore renewables

Our interactive map identifies the key growth sectors for marine renewables in Argyll and Bute and shows how Oban is ideally located to take advantage of them

How is the programme funded?

The project will be funded through the Scottish Government’s Tax incremental Finance (TIF) scheme. Following a highly competitive application process Argyll and Bute Council  had its proposal approved in January 2014

The Scottish Government is allowing the council to use the non-domestic tax revenue raised through the project to repay the loan, rather than that income going to the government

Every £1 of public sector investment has the potential to attract a further £6 from the private sector. The private sector investment in the Lorn Arc project is expected to be in the region of £125M

What is TIF?

The Scottish Government’s TIF scheme is a way of funding local council’s investment in vital infrastructure which will lead to the economic regeneration of an area.

This loan will be repaid over the next 25 years through the extra income generated, such as non-domestic rate taxes and port dues.

For example, when a new road is built this increases the value of the land which can lead to new property and business investment. As a result the increased site value and business investment generates increased tax revenue.

More information about TIF is available from the Scottish Government and from the Scottish Futures Trust, a public corporation of the Scottish Government which aims to improve public infrastructure investment.

Wider context

In the first round of TIF funding, the Scottish Government approved funding for the Edinburgh Waterfront project, the regeneration of Ravenscraig in North Lanarkshire and the development of the Buchanan Quarter in Glasgow

In the second round of TIF, Argyll and Bute Council was one of 15 local authorities to submit bids and was one of the three successful bids to be taken forward, along with projects in Fife and Falkirk/Grangemouth.

This is part of Argyll and Bute Council’s wider vision for regeneration and follows on from the £30M of council investment in the CHORD project, which has already delivered a number of successes such as the regeneration of Campbeltown, with major work on the town centre, the harbour and the Kinloch Road area; the Helensburgh project, with work already completed on the esplanade and further work currently underway in the town’s Colquhoun Square; the work in Rothesay, where a number of historic buildings have been restored to their former glory and in Dunoon and Oban, where work is progressing towards the enhancement of their waterfronts.