Oban’s status as a ‘must visit’ location for sailors has increased significantly with the opening of its new £2.5 million transit berthing facility.
The ambitious project is designed to benefit the local and wider economy, is already bringing vessels and visitors to the town.
The Ocean Youth Trust were amongst the first pontoon customers and Councillor Elaine Robertson, Chair of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, was on hand to welcome their charter vessels to the state-of-the art facility.
Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said:
“This is a landmark day for Oban and for the whole west coast tourism industry. The substantial investment in these first class facilities will attract new people and businesses and bring economic benefits to the town and the surrounding area for years to come.
“I am so pleased to say that we are now able to welcome kayakers, yachters, cruise ships and tour operators. The finger-berth pontoons and concrete floating breakwater are now capable of providing excellent flexible short-stay capacity and make it easier for marine visitors to come to Oban.
“As well as Council funding, this project benefited from financial support from the Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. Our thanks go to all who helped make it possible.”
“This is all about investing for prosperity.”
Councillor Elaine Robertson said:
“This project will complement Oban’s existing marine facilities and will bring new customers for other local facilities, industries and retailers.
“It had been expected that the pontoons would open later in the summer, but thanks to the hard work of contractors GSS of Roseneath, North West Marine of Mull and Oban, Laffertys of Oban and Gaelforce the facility is open for business in July. This has been an outstanding demonstration of the quality of our home based contractors in Argyll.
“This is a great step forward for the long-term, economic prosperity of Oban.”
The facility, comprising 15 finger berth pontoons, 3 hammer heads, and 12 fully serviced floating concrete breakwaters, has been built to the highest standards and according to the original plans. This season the facility will be operated by Argyll and Bute Council in partnership with Bid4Oban.
In addition, work on the associated maritime visitor facility, costing £1.6 million, is ongoing and is scheduled to be completed later this year. This facility will provide a harbourmaster’s office, toilets, showers, lockers and a changing area as well as commercial space for rent.
The Scottish Government provided investment of £700,000 and Highlands and Islands Enterprise provided £300,000.