Sun, sea and ski at Ganavan?

Visitors enjoying one of the new picnic benches donated to Ganavan.

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News of Kilbowie Outdoor Centre facing demolition later this year has raised the question of what will happen to its dry slope.

Councillor Roddy McCuish hinted the slope could possibly find a new home at Ganavan when Kilbowie’s owner, North Lanarkshire Council (NLC), sells the centre off.

He says it could fit as part of an initiative to save one of the town’s last open spaces for recreational and leisure seekers.

When The Oban Times contacted NLC to ask if it would gift the dry slope to Ganavan, a spokesman said: ‘We need to ensure we follow our procedures for the disposal of assets, but yes, it’s certainly something we’d actively consider.’

Councillor McCuish said Ganavan already has the scenery, the beach and the sea, but adding more leisure facilities such as the dry slope would help protect it even more.

Alison Chadwick from The Friends of Ganavan said: ‘This would be the ideal kind of thing we would like to see down at Ganavan because it would attract all year round use. Of course, it would have to be managed properly but it would make a brilliant little business for someone.’

Last week, three eco-friendly picnic benches were donated to the beach-side spot by an anonymous donor.

And this could be ‘just the start’ of a drive to make the most of what Ganavan has to offer people living in the area, as well as visitors.

The area once had beach huts, an 18-hole golf course and pavilion – as well as a small play park that was removed about 10 years ago.

Dougie Graham who runs Dougie Dans’ snack bar in big Ganavan car park says it would be good to see swings make a return for families to enjoy and have even more fun by the sea.

Dougie Graham at Ganavan

Mr Graham said: ‘Within hours of the donated picnic benches arriving they were being put to good use by people enjoying Ganavan. There was a lot of Oban people down as well as visitors. With the community’s input this could be just the start of more good things happening here.’

Last month The Oban Times reported how the Friends of Ganavan are inviting people to send in photographs and stories of how they use the area to help preserve it for the community’s health and wellbeing as well as other economic benefits.

It is already a popular spot for swimmers, runners, walkers, orienteerers, and its cliffs are used for coastguard training.

The Friends of Ganavan group are continuing to round-up information about what potential changes the latest Local Development Plan could have in store for the open space and hope people’s contributions will help build up a strong line of defence against losing the space to potential housing.

A community questionnaire is coming out soon from The Friends and a Facebook page is being planned for people to share their own posts about their love of Ganavan, including its heritage.

People who use the area can also get in touch by emailing their photographs and stories to, outlining how they use Ganavan and what it would mean to them to keep that use.

The latest Local Development Plan (LDP) setting out how Oban could develop over the next 10 years, has marked the area out on maps for change and that includes more houses going up.

Argyll and Bute council says nothing has been decided yet, the outcome after a LDP consultation that ended in January is still awaited.