Oban Bay pontoons get the green light

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One of Oban’s longest sagas has almost reached its conclusion with the signing of a contract to build a marina off North Pier.

On Tuesday, Argyll and Bute Council  signed two major construction contracts to build Oban’s new transit berthing and associated maritime visitor facilities.

As far back as 1910, plans to have small craft in the bay were recorded in The Oban Times – and 107 years later it is hoped the scheme will be delivered by this summer.

The contract for the new berthing facility has gone to Gael Force, which will be employing Gareloch Support Services (GSS) and Oban-based North West Marine as their main subcontractors. The visitor facility will be built by Mull-based firm TSL Contractors Ltd.

Representatives of the local community joined councillors, the contractors and funding partner Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) at Oban’s Corran Halls to commemorate this significant milestone.

Councillor Roddy McCuish, chairman of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, welcomed the news. He said: ‘We are absolutely delighted. We’ve worked long and hard to move these projects forward, and are particularly grateful for the help of the local community group Oban Bay Marine, which has worked in partnership with us to develop the final plans.

‘It’s also great to see work staying in the local area. GSS did a great job on our berthing facility in Campbeltown, which is going from strength to strength, and has assured us it will use Oban-based sub-contractors wherever possible.

‘We can’t wait for work to get under way in the spring. It is expected that both projects will be complete by late summer.’

John Offord, managing director of Gael Force Engineering, said: ‘Gael Force is delighted to be involved in this very exciting and prestigious project.

‘As a sailor who lived in the area for many years, I firmly believe the new facilities will be a great asset to the town and will be welcomed by the yachting and wider marine community.’

Mike Robertson, from Oban Bay Marine (OBM), said: ‘All of us involved with OBM are delighted to see transit facilities for visiting leisure craft coming to Oban at last, thanks to the council’s regeneration project, with similar facilities now in place all round the country.’