New stadium stakeholders’ group for Mossfield

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Improvements for Oban’s Mossfield Stadium are to be shaped by a new stakeholders’ group.

External funding will be needed to pay for work so far estimated at around £58,000 – at least.

A list of three areas needing upgrading was brought to councillors at a meeting of Oban, Lorn and the Isles area committee in the Corran Halls.  Those areas included the pathway leading to the stand, resurfacing the access area from the car park, including the back of the goal area, and doubling the current power supply for events.

Historically, Mossfield Stadium has been used successfully over many years for various sporting tournaments including football and shinty as well as the Argyllshire Gathering. It has also been the home of Oban Live, attracting several thousand people over its weekend.

Argyll’s largest music festival, Oban Live announced in June it would be taking a break in 2020 due to the lack of development and improvement of the stadium and the annual issues that remain with regard to making the site acceptable for such a major event.

Organisers, led by Skerryvore’s Daniel and Martin Gillespie, said they could no longer keep absorbing the huge costs and risks associated with hosting this event while the facilities deteriorate and costs increase.

Councillors were asked to note a report at last week’s meeting and consider that further development of the work outlined in it will be undertaken, subject to another report coming to the committee’s December meeting.

But Councillor Julie McKenzie demanded no resources should be committed until there had been a full consultation with stakeholders and the community.

She called for a stakeholders’ group to be set up and wanted to know who had asked for costs in the report to be drawn up and who had already identified the areas outlined for improvements without ‘robust’ consultations first.

Councillor McKenzie said: ‘Mossfield has been managed into decline by the council.’

Councillor Elaine Robertson, who chaired the meeting, said: ‘We want the best for Mossfield. We’ve said yes it needs improvements. It’s highly important. Let’s get something off the ground.’

The meeting heard how some work had already been carried out as part of the improvements before any consultations but it was explained a problem in a piece of road equipment meant a pile of tarmac would have gone to waste until a worker used their initiative to use it up, patching Mossfield.

Councillor Kieron Green put forward a motion that the committee agreed the recommendation, adding a stakeholders’ group be formed and  no funds be committed until that had been done.

The motion was seconded by Councillor McKenzie and passed unanimously.