New Oban town centre officially opened
Hundreds of people gathered in Oban’s newly renovated Station Square to mark the official opening of the renovated town centre, following the successful completion of Argyll and Bute Council’s multi-million pound improvement project.
Councillor Roddy McCuish, Chair of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, was on hand to cut the ribbon, saying: “The council has invested over £2million in this project; it’s a real vote of confidence in Oban and I’m delighted to see it complete. I would like to thank the retailers and for their patience over the course of the work and thank them, the local community and Bid4Oban for working in partnership with us.
“We’ve put a lot of hard work into keeping people informed as the project has progressed and I think everyone will agree the quality and frequency of updates has been first class.
“Transformational change of this nature is always disruptive, but this was a necessity. I think everyone looking round today will agree it was time and money well spent.”
He added: “Coinciding with the annual fireworks display, it’s great to see the space being used for what it was designed for – a big event which brings in lots of people, brings money into the town and creates a great atmosphere. This was a trial run of the new space and it passed with flying colours, more than justifying the investment.”
Policy Lead for Infrastructure, Councillor Ellen Morton, was unable to attend, so the Vice Chair of the Area Committee, Councillor Elaine Robertson, said a few words on her behalf: “Public realm work is about giving a town confidence. Giving people confidence, giving investors confidence, raising the mood of the area, stimulating growth and making people hopeful and ambitious for the future.
“This project has done just that. Local businesses are already seeing the benefits of the scheme; I’ve received lots of positive feedback on the high quality of the finish and the convenience of having such an accessible public space to be enjoyed by all.”
Fiona Brown, Network Manager for Transport Scotland said: “It is great to see the results of the hard work that has gone into the renovation of Oban’s town centre.
“We have been happy to work alongside Argyll and Bute Council to make improvements in Oban town centre, including alongside the A85 trunk road and around key transport hubs, and we hope the community and local businesses will feel the benefits for years to come.”
This is the second phase of public realm improvement in Oban, following the successful completion of the regeneration project at Stafford Street.
The design for Station Square provides a shared surface, flexible space for occasional events; a widened seaside footway; an improved shelter for bus passengers; bespoke seating; ornamental planting; provision for the taxis and feature lighting columns incorporating a WiFi repeater station.
George Street and Queen’s Park Place now see bespoke seating areas, including planting and feature lighting columns; an improved footway on the seafront; refurbished railings and replacement lighting along the sea wall.
The work started in early January and was scheduled for completion in July, with additional elements included taking some additional time. Some of the big additions to the scheme were:
- additional seating along the low wall next to the Whisky Shop on Stafford Street as well as paving over the planting area on the upper terrace, which was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain
- widening and extending the dropped kerbs to disabled parking bays
- extending the paving into Argyll Street
- additional strengthening work to the lighting columns along the sea wall
- Real Time Information (RTI) displayboards in all five bus shelters to Station Square
- Foundation and infrastructure for large, Totem Style RTI board to be located on Station Square and will provide real time information for train, ferry and bus services.
- three extra bus shelters to Station Square
The scheme was designed by Capita and delivered by Land Engineering.
Transport Scotland provided £300,000 towards the project