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Four marine science cluster companies are expanding into new workspace at the European Marine Science Park (EMPS) at Dunstaffnage near Oban.
This follows completion of a £2m fit-out of the ground floor of the Park’s Malin House by developer, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Malin House was completed in 2012, initially with only the first floor fitted out. This is home to 10 marine sector companies, active in a broad range of commercial marine activity.
The further fit-out investment was prompted by companies at the park expressing the need for additional office and laboratory space to enable them to expand their commercial activity. The new laboratories and offices were designed in consultation with those companies and the work was carried out by local contractor, TSL Limited.
Patogen AS, Tritonia Scientific Ltd and Oceanium have already leased some of the new space, along with Shetland firm Ocean Kinetics, which is expanding into Argyll.
Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said: ‘We’re very pleased to have completed the fit-out of Malin House, which is enabling marine-based companies to expand.
‘Argyll’s rich marine resource has created and maintained significant economic opportunity for generations and these latest company expansions demonstrate how innovation and technology is continuing to drive the marine economy in the region.
‘We can expect new opportunities in skills development and entrepreneurship, particularly for young people, and enhanced confidence in Argyll as a business location for inward investors.’
Dr Teresa Garzon, key account manager with fish health firm, PatoGen Ltd, said: ‘We have been working in Scotland since 2014 and established our office at the EMSP in Oban in August 2018.
‘Since we entered the Scottish market, we have collaborated well with aquaculture firms and seen a steady increase in activity. Our new laboratory in the excellent new facilities at Malin House is now in operation and represents the next stage in our company’s growth.’
Adjacent to Malin House is the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS), part of the University of the Highlands and Islands network.
In the context of the global climate emergency, researchers at SAMS and commercial firms at the EMSP are playing a key role in safeguarding the oceans through greater understanding of the marine environment.
Together they are developing a sustainable marine economy that benefits people while safeguarding the health and productivity of the seas.
As part of a further £2.77m investment at EMSP by HIE, TSL is also working on groundworks, road development and car parking provision for three more buildings. Planning consent is already in place for one of those.
TSL and HIE have been working with neighbours of the site and authorities such as Scottish Water to advance the project while funding from Sustrans is being used to create a pedestrian and cycle lane to allow even greater access.