“City status for Oban would create opportunities for growth across Argyll and Bute. Competing for the title, with other places across the UK, is about showcasing that this is a great place to live, work and invest. It’s about attracting the people, skills and investment the area needs for long-term success. I would encourage everyone to get involved in helping Oban, and Argyll and Bute, win.”
Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Robin Currie, highlighted the importance of community feedback, following today’s decision by Council to bid for city status for Oban in 2022.
“Today’s decision includes engagement with the local community and partners, as key in shaping the final application for city status for Oban. As a first step, members of the public are welcome to indicate their support, and give any comments via our website. Let’s take this opportunity to highlight how much there is to be proud of in Argyll and Bute.”
The UK Government launched civic competitions, which include granting ‘city status’ in 2022, as part of the Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations next year.
A report considered by Council highlighted reasons for Oban bringing the highest chance of success for Argyll and Bute including:
- It has a strategically important position on the west coast of the Highlands and Islands region independent of other cities – itis a key transport hub, with one of the busiest ferry ports in the UK, good road, rail, active travel and air links, and is an established gateway to a number of our island communities.
- It is a University Town with in excess of 1,000 students including the world renowned SAMs (Scottish Association for Marine Science) institute
- It has a growing population, an expanding and diversifying economy, and is an important tourist hub (with its population boosted from 8.5k to 25k during peak summer periods)
The UK Government also announced a competition for UK City of Culture 2029. For the first time the city of culture competition is not restricted to cities but can be entered by a place, making Argyll and Bute eligible. Council also agreed to develop a bid for Argyll and Bute as UK City of Culture 2029.
Councillor Currie said: “This is all about bringing opportunities for growth and success to Argyll and Bute. This area is rich in culture and heritage, and is the cradle of the Gaelic language. This makes Argyll and Bute a strong candidate for UK City of Culture.”