Dis­ap­point­ing news

The Oban Times - - DISTRICT NEWS - MARTIN LAING mlaing@oban­times.co.uk

I was more than dis­ap­pointed to hear last week the Scot­tish Seal­ife Sanc­tu­ary at Bar­cal­dine is to close un­less a new owner can be found.

It is dis­heart­en­ing news on a num­ber of lev­els, but prin­ci­pally for the peo­ple who work there.

The staff – we are told there are 11 of them – now face an un­cer­tain time given that the cur­rent owner, Mer­lin En­ter­tain­ment, plans to shut the at­trac­tion on Oc­to­ber 31.

In fair­ness to Mer­lin, the com­pany has said it will at­tempt to find other roles for the work­ers within its busi­ness. How­ever, as the next near­est Seal­ife Sanc­tu­ary is at Loch Lomond Shores at Bal­loch, it is dif­fi­cult to see how the staff could move there or else­where with­out the need to re­lo­cate lock, stock and bar­rel.

Then there is the blow this de­ci­sion de­liv­ers to the lo­cal tourism econ­omy. The Scot­tish Seal­ife Sanc­tu­ary is part of the over­all mix of at­trac­tions that brings peo­ple to our area and will be a loss to the ‘prod­uct’.

Any diminu­tion to what we have to of­fer is bad for us all. Let us hope fer­vently a new buyer can be found and that the amenity can be kept go­ing, in what­ever form that might be.

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