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5 September 2018

Oban to get new plots for industrial development

Oban to get new plots for industrial development

Construction work has started at the site of four new industrial development plots in Oban, created to enable local firms to grow and attract new companies to the area.

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is investing £450,000 in access roads and site servicing in a two-acre site at the town's Glenshellach Industrial Estate, with infrastructure firm Robertson appointed to carry out the work.

Construction commenced in late August, with an expected completion date in the autumn.

There has been a recognised lack of land for commercial and industrial use in Oban. This has not been addressed by the private sector as construction costs significantly outweigh end market value.

This value gap is forecast to continue to act as a restraint on private sector−led development. As a result, demand for plots exceeds supply and this can inhibit business growth and inward investment.

Morag Goodfellow, senior development manager with HIE, said: "Given room to grow, sectors such as haulage and distribution, wholesale and technology, all have the potential to expand and boost local employment. To help make this happen we have been developing Glenshellach over a number of years into one of the town's main industrial sites.

"This project will provide much needed development land in the Oban area. A condition of sale will be a requirement to start development work within a year, to make sure we see new employment opportunities in Oban as quickly as possible."

Tony Fry, managing director of Robertson Civil Engineering, said: "We're looking forward to beginning work on site at Glenshellach following our successful bid for the contract – which also marks the first civil engineering project for Robertson in Oban.

"The development will not only create four new plots just now, but gives options for future road extension and more industrial development later. It will also provide much-needed premises for businesses to invest in the area and the local community."