University town project puts Oban on the map

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On March 1, the Oban as a University Town project was officially launched at the Corran Halls.

The project has taken shape over the past couple of years and currently has 10 organisations involved in a collaborative effort to take the vision forward to the next stage.

Having had all this work going on in the background, the launch event provided an opportunity to put the project ‘on the map’, letting members of the public know more about what is happening and get involved wherever possible.

As highlighted in The Oban Times feature on March 8, the event was a huge success, with around 300 people passing through the door on the day.  Although many travelling from elsewhere in the country were unable to make it due to the heavy snow at the time, a key success of the day was how the local representatives and community pulled together and made it work … with a little bit of help from modern technology when needed.

This will be at the core of the project in the future, as it builds on strong local foundations with industry, community and leading educational institutions all having an important part to play.

A major success on the day was the opportunity for everyone at the event, as well as staff and students from Scottish Association for Marine Science UHI and Oban High School, to choose from four potential options for a project logo.

The logo displayed here was a clear winner on the day, with 336 votes from 717 forms received. After a few final tweaks, the logo will start to be rolled out on the website and other project materials over coming months, so please keep an eye out for it. A big thank you to those who let us know their favourite.

The involvement of around 120 P6/7 students from local schools was also a great success. It was fantastic to see them all so excited and putting their hand to some amazing tasks, learning about studies and careers that could lie ahead for them in the area.

Since the event, there has been a real buzz about some of the displays showcased on the day.

Oban High School musicians kept everyone entertained throughout the afternoon, the Argyll College UHI catering team put on a mouthwatering visual display (which also kept everyone well fed) and the day was topped off with an incredible performance from Ballet West students.

The event has provided a hugely successful start, marking the beginning of an exciting and busy time ahead.

A five-year activity plan is now being developed in line with the vision and objectives, to ensure the project is constantly looking ahead and growing the opportunities for Oban as a University Town.

The project has teams working on academic opportunities, infrastructure requirements, student and business engagement and communications, and the website is now live.

There will also be a monthly feature in The Oban Times to keep readers updated with progress and activities.

The door remains open to others who want to get involved or find out a bit more. Please visit the website at www.obanunitown.org to contact the team directly.