It’s a Christmas miracle

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Festive fundraisers have rallied £12,000 in less than two weeks to make sure Oban lights up for Christmas.

New snowflakes, swirls and angels have been ordered and, fingers-crossed, will wing their way to Oban in time for the switch-on and reindeer parade on Saturday November 27.

Determined to bring light to the town after the darkness of the pandemic, a surge of goodwill and community teamwork took this year’s lights fund from zero pennies in the pot to thousands of pounds in just days.

Last year saw the last of funding from Argyll and Bute Council and most of  the town’s displays were past their best and decommissioned.

BID4Oban flagged up the urgent need for funds if the town was to sparkle and shine this year but it was only an eleventh-hour effort that has saved the day – and Christmas.

Oban Common Good Fund donated £5,000, Oban Community Council gave £2,000, £1,500 came from West Highland Housing and BID4Oban made up the rest.

Elaine Robertson, in a personal capacity and not as a councillor, played a role in co-ordinating the last-minute lights effort and Oban Electrical Services has also been praised for its help.

Oban Community Council convener Marri Malloy said: ‘It’s been hard work but we are over the moon with the result. The week before last we didn’t have a penny for lights but thanks to the immense support and everyone doing their best, we have about £12,000. This is a good news story for Oban and just shows what a small town can achieve. There was absolutely no way after a year like this that the community council  was going to see  Oban in the dark with no Christmas lights.’

BID4Oban’s Kay MacDonald said: ‘Last year was the end of Argyll and Bute funding. This year we had nothing but thanks to the amazing and generous efforts of everyone involved we have pulled it off, even if it was last minute.

‘We’ve got all our fingers and toes crossed that the new lights arrive and can be put up in time for November 27 but the good news is we will have them in time for Christmas.

Earlier this week, a tree was going up in Argyll Square. It is one of four organised by BID4Oban. BID’s mini-trees will also be going up on lampposts again.


Caption: As well as mini trees this Christmas, Oban will be getting new lights to bring sparkle to the town centre
NO-T07 The Christmas tree outside Lidl