Council submits Oban improvement project for government funding

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Published Date: 

12 Aug 2011 - 14:26

Argyll and Bute Council is bidding to bring massive investment to Oban as part of a Scottish Government initiative to kick-start the economy.

It’s called the Tax Incremental Finance Initiative (TIF) and the government is looking for projects which clearly demonstrate if council’s borrow money to invest in infrastructure they will be able to pay back their loans from rates of successful new businesses.

The council will recommend the development of the “Lorn Arc” which covers Oban, Dunstaffanage, Dunbeg, North Connell and Barcaldine. It would see Oban’s North Pier extended, improving the town’s ability to act as a transport hub and to attract new businesses to the area. 

There will be six projects across Scotland and three have already been chosen.The council has a very tight deadline to prepare the application by Friday 19 August 2011.

Councillor Duncan MacIntyre, chair of the Oban CHORD project board and spokesperson for transportation and infrastructure, believes there is a strong case for the government accepting the Oban bid. He explains:

“Oban has already been identified as an area which could meet the government's objectives for this project.

“It is a key location for renewable energy, marine science and an attractive tourist destination.

“The outline proposal to extend the North Pier in Oban already exists and could significantly contribute to the transport “hub” already offered in Oban.

“If extended, the North Pier would act as a stimulus for renewables and marine tourism activities, together with aquaculture expansion.

“In turn this could attract even more businesses to establish in the Lorn area. There could be construction or engineering firms based at the marine resource centre at Barcaldine and Dunstaffanage. We could also see research and development companies at Dunstaffanage.

"Oban airport could provide business co-ordination and development support.”

Argyll and Bute Council Leader Dick Walsh said “This package of infrastructure projects provides a strong case for Scottish government accepting the Oban bid as one of the six pilot projects across Scotland.”