MP in talks on eco­nomic re­gen­er­a­tion of Oban area

The Oban Times - - Business -

AR­GYLL and Bute MP Bren­dan O’Hara has met Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s eco­nomic devel­op­ment team leader Fer­gus Mur­ray to dis­cuss ini­tia­tives to boost the area’s econ­omy.

Mr O’Hara and Mr Mur­ray met in Oban to tour the var­i­ous re­de­vel­op­ment projects un­der way in and around Oban and Con­nel, in­clud­ing the new tran­sit berthing fa­cil­ity, pro­posed hous­ing re­de­vel­op­ment and the prom­i­nent and re­cent aqua­cul­ture in­vest­ments in the Ar­gyll coast­line.

Mr O’Hara said: ‘I was de­lighted to see the work al­ready well un­der way to rein­vig­o­rate Oban and the sur­round­ing area. The fu­ture for what is after all a univer­sity town is in­spi­ra­tional.

‘Ar­gyll and Bute is prob­a­bly one of the best placed con­stituen­cies to take ad­van­tage of the boom in ma­rine tourism, our coast­line ex­ceed­ing that of the whole of France. It stands to rea­son that our econ­omy should take ad­van­tage of all that our ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment has to of­fer.

‘Not only do we have an ex­cep­tion­ally scenic coast­line and town­ships but also our ac­cess to an im­mense nat­u­ral re­source that our sur­round­ing waters can of­fer. The de­vel­op­ments in and around Oban is noth­ing short of in­spir­ing.

‘I do feel Ar­gyll and Bute is on the cusp of be­com­ing a bea­con for ma­rine and mar­itime in­dus­tries, while re­tain­ing our her­itage as­sets. What’s not to like?

‘Work­ing in tan­dem with other agen­cies such as High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise, the fu­ture and po­ten­tial for the sec­ond big­gest con­stituency in the UK is im­mense.

‘Oban has a dis­tinct buzz about it. Things are hap­pen­ing and I’m re­ally ex­cited for the town. Of course, there are many chal­lenges – but if we all get be­hind the po­ten­tial of the town and have a re­al­is­tic con­ver­sa­tion about what the chal­lenges are and how to ad­dress them, ev­ery­one stands to ben­e­fit.’

Bren­dan O’Hara and Fer­gus Mur­ray visit the new tran­sit berths in Oban with Michelle Van der Stighe­len, the MP’s par­lia­men­tary as­sis­tant, and Kirsteen McDon­ald, project man­ager, Oban berths.

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