Funding secured for £144m Oban revamp


Funding secured for £144m Oban revamp


According to the five-year plan the following tasks are included in the ambitious regeneration scheme: extending Oban North Pier, upgrading road links to established industrial areas, renewable energy projects and creating new business space at Oban airport.


The Scottish government has given the council go-ahead to borrow £18.9m through Tax Incremental Financing.

However the authority aims to secure additional £125m of private investment for infrastructure improvements to enable complete realisation of its vision for the wider Oban area, which would lead to the creation of more than 1,000 jobs.


Under TIF, councils fund infrastructure by borrowing against future business rate income produced by the resulting regeneration and development.

The council forecasts that the scheme will have a significant economic growth potential in areas such as marine science, marine tourism, aquaculture and renewable energy.


“The Argyll and Bute TIF will allow major construction developments across the area over the next five years, which will unlock significant economic development and regeneration,” said Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.


“It will allow Argyll and Bute to maintain and grow a number of industries and sectors that are important nationally such as renewable energy, aquaculture and marine tourism.


“We will continue to use every lever at our disposal, within our devolved powers, to boost capital spending and through innovative financing schemes such as TIF, support jobs, apprenticeships and help the Scottish economy.


“Scotland needs independence so the Scottish Parliament can have full control over taxation, borrowing and spending to determine investment priorities according to the needs of the Scottish economy and public services, to promote growth, employment and opportunities for all to flourish.”


Argyll and Bute Council leader Dick Walsh said: ‘’This is fantastic news, both for the people of Oban and the surrounding area, as well as the people of Argyll and Bute as a whole.


“This investment has the potential to create in excess of 1,000 jobs and is going to have a hugely positive impact on the lives of the people of Oban and the surrounding areas, bringing huge private sector investment to the area.


“I would like to thank our partners in both the public and private sectors, particularly those at Scottish Futures Trust, who threw their support behind the TIF bid. They saw, as we do, that the key to sustainable economic growth is investment in vital infrastructure.”


Photo: BBC