Marine training centre would attract hundreds of students

Ardrishaig guides will use its Covid grant from Argyll and Bute Council to buy an outdoor shelter for meetings

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A new Scottish Marine Industry Training Centre (SMITC) linked to Argyll College would attract hundreds more students to Oban within its first six years, councillors have heard.

Work to promote Oban as a university town was praised by councillors at a meeting of Oban, Lorn and the Isles area committee  last week who were given a progress update.

A funding bid to develop the curriculum offer of Argyll College over the next two years, delivered through the creation of a new Scottish Marine Industry Training Centre (SMITC), has now been submitted to the
council’s Inward Investment Fund, they were told.

If successful it would bring around 80 more full-time and 440 part-time student to the town within six years. Those students would mainly be based at a new purpose built Scottish Marine Industry Training Centre (SMITC)  in the European Marine Science Park.

There are  more than 100 marine businesses working within a 20 mile radius of Oban and more across Argyll needing marine skills.

Focus is also being put on the accommodation needs of students and academic visitors coming to Oban. More is needed but it is likely to be provided through the private sector, committee members heard.

Councillor Julie McKenzie was just one of the councillors who welcomed the Oban University Town report and said: ‘We can see there’s been an enormous amount of work. Anything that means our young people have got better opportunities here and want to stay here rather than move away is a benefit to Argyll and Bute. More of this please, ‘ said councillor Julie McKenzie.