Council agrees £747,000 to boost Oban economy

Oban Bay

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy and Resources Committee today agreed a £747,000 investment in growing the economy of Oban and the surrounding area.

The funding agreed by the Policy and Resources Committee comes via the Lorn Arc programme, which brings money into the area through a Scottish Government Tax Incremental Scheme (TIF).  A Tax Incremental Scheme (TIF) is an agreement between the Scottish Government and Argyll and Bute Council that permits council borrowing to complete a project. It then allows the council to use non-domestic rates within the wider Lorn Area that has been classified as part of the TIF area, to repay this borrowing.

The Lorn Arc initiative makes possible major infrastructure projects that will help attract investment and create employment, housing and commercial opportunities. 

Funding has been agreed for the following projects:

  • £640,000 to develop a full business case and all necessary studies and detailed design works to enable new Halfway Roundabout junction with particular focus on the construction of a new roundabout on the A85 to access a proposed new commercial area.

    This will also provide the initial phase of a second access into Dunbeg to enable further new housing development and the expansion of the European Marine Science Park in the future, complementing the work upgrading Kirk Road already completed. Further phases of this access will be subject to additional funding bids and/or business case.
  • £107,321 to develop a business case to unlock further investment for a new Oban Airport Business Park, enabling the development of new business accommodation.

Councillor Robin Currie, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council:

“The Lorn Arc initiative has enabled the Council to invest in major infrastructure that has multiple benefits for Oban and our communities.

The area has significant economic growth potential. We are putting this funding to work for the Oban area by investing in improvements that will help attract and retain the businesses, skills and people needed for economic success

As part of the Lorn Arc programme, the council has already completed a £2.75 million improvement project at Dunbeg – The Kirk Road Upgrade Scheme. This included widening the road from single track to two lanes with street lighting and the provision of a new cycle and footpath. Completion of this scheme enabled the building of an additional 300 unit affordable housing development which is currently on site along with further phases of the European Marine Science Park, which collectively are estimated investments in excess of £65 million.

The Lorn Arc  programme has previously delivered £330,000 of improvement works to open up access to Oban Airport Business Park, and now has renewed occupier interest for the site.

Read the report from the Policy and Resources Committee.

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