People in and around Oban are set to benefit from significant council investment over the next five years, with a set of ambitious development projects agreed by Argyll and Bute Council today (Thursday 22nd January). The council could invest almost £20million which, in partnership with the private sector, will lead to a total investment of over £40million as a first stage. The programme of projects has the potential to create over 1,000 jobs and bring huge private sector investment to the Oban and Lorn area in the years to come.
Members considered and approved the project initiation document today; setting out the arrangements for developing each of the nine projects and how the overall programme will be managed and paid for.
The development of the Oban Airport business park access has been identified as the first project, with work expected to begin in September.
Councillor Ellen Morton, policy lead for special projects, said: ‘’This is a big step forward for this ambitious investment programme, which will enable better use of Oban Bay, deliver 1,000 new homes and create over 600,000sqft of commercial, business and retail space.
‘’The project initiation document is part of the robust, evidence based process the council uses for big investment decisions. It will serve as the foundation document that we refer to as we move forward with developing the full business cases for each of the nine projects.
‘’Crucially it sets out how we make these decisions - through the local area committee and then the policy and resources committee.
‘’This is a top priority for the council – we want to turn Oban into a hub for business, which will have a knock on effect for the whole of Argyll and Bute, and will be working hard in the coming years to do just that. ’’
Chair of the local area committee, Oban-based Councillor Roddy McCuish, said: ‘’I welcome the progress of the Lorn Arc initiative and am looking forward to the £600,000 Oban Airport business park project starting later this year. We’ve already got a lot of interest in new business units which is a strong indicator that there is demand for this business park.
‘’Officers will now be developing a full business case which will have greater details and set out the options. This should be ready for consideration in May, with work on site set to begin in September.
‘’I am excited to see this project develop and am eagerly looking forward to the first spade going in the ground in September. This investment is going to have a hugely positive impact on the lives of the people of Oban and the surrounding area.’’