Oban North Pier Building is officially handed over

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The official handover of the keys to a new maritime visitors’ centre on Oban’s North Pier took place last Friday.

The centre is part of a £3.1 million CHORD investment in Oban and provides a changing area with toilets, showers and lockers, a harbour master’s office  and commercial space on the ground floor for rent.

Leader of Argyll and Bute Council and policy lead for economic development Councillor Aileen Morton said: ‘This wonderful new facility complements the pontoons and will benefit the whole of the west coast marine industry.

‘The pontoons are already having a positive impact, with approximately 5,000 visitors coming ashore during the first two months of operation, despite being the end of the season.

‘Not only has this benefited local businesses, but it has also shown Oban to be a first class destination for cruise passengers and other marine tourism. It is great to see everything coming together.’

Depute Leader of the council and policy lead for finance Councillor Gary Mulvaney, agreed: ‘There has been a substantial investment in Oban over the past few years, with the regeneration of the town centre and the maritime development.

‘This has been a seamless example of partnership working with a local company, bringing the project in on time and in budget.

‘The new North Pier Harbour Building will add to Oban as a key sailing destination look forward to reaping the financial benefits it will bring in the years ahead.’

Chairwoman of the Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee Councillor Elaine Robertson said: ‘This is an exciting time for Oban. The town is already seeing the benefits of the new pontoons, with hundreds of visitors coming ashore and spending money in our shops and restaurants.

‘The opening of this wonderful new North Pier Harbour Building will strengthen that and will encourage even more visitors to the area.’

TSL contractors general manager John Forbes said projects such as the maritime visitors centre provided much-needed local opportunities enabling the business to thrive and provide well-paid jobs to more than 120 skilled technical and managerial staff.

‘The project presented some unique challenges and key to the success was being able to work closely with the council and their professional project team,’ he said.