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Oban lost to Dunfermline in its bid to become Scotland’s eighth city in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this year.
The bid by the ‘unofficial capital of the West Highlands’ made the longlist of 39 UK places competing for city status, joining seven others from Scotland: St Andrews, Livingston, Greenock, Elgin, Dunfermline, and Dumfries, and the region of South Ayrshire, which includes Ayr, Prestwick, Troon and Turnberry.
Last Friday a record eight winning towns were announced by the Cabinet Office, with at least one in every UK nation.
It is a first for places in an Overseas Territory – Stanley, in the Falklands – and a crown dependency – Douglas, in the Isle of Man – to win city status.
Dunfermline in Scotland, Bangor in Northern Ireland, Wrexham in Wales, and three new cities in England – Milton Keynes, Colchester and Doncaster – complete the list getting the royal honour.
Councillor Robin Currie, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: ‘Oban is a great place to live, work and invest. We are delighted, with the help of partners and local communities, to have showcased this through the civic honours competition.
‘Thank you to everyone who contributed. We know that competition was stiff and while we are disappointed, naturally, that the west coast of Scotland will not have its new city, we are proud of the bid submitted as a way to raise Oban’s profile.
‘This was part of our work to attract the people, skills and investment, that Oban and Argyll and Bute as a whole need. Our work to achieve that goes on in other ways such as our £70 million rural growth deal.
‘Our congratulations go to Dunfermline, and also to everyone involved in Oban’s bid – we are proud of all that Oban offers, locally, nationally and internationally, and welcome the raised profile that entering the city bid competition has brought.’
BID4Oban chief executive Andrew Spence added: ‘Obviously disappointed, as this could have brought significant inward investment to Oban. I’m sure there will be another opportunity in the future, so until then Argyll and Bute will have to look at other investments.’
Oban community councillor Dugie Graham said: ‘It was a nonsense anyway. Argyll and Bute needs to look after Oban as a town first.’