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More space for marine science cluster companies after £2m building fit-out

Malin House, on the European Marine Science Park (EMSP), at Dunstaffnage, near Oban.

A £2million fit-out of a building on the European Marine Science Park (EMSP), at Dunstaffnage near Oban, has been completed by development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The project has enabled four companies to expand into new workspace at the park’s Malin House.

Completed in 2012, initially with only the first floor fitted out, the building is home to 10 companies.

The further fit-out was prompted by firms on the park asking for additional office and laboratory space to enable them to expand their commercial activities.

The new facilities were designed in consultation with the companies and the work was carried out by local contractor, TSL.

Existing tenants PatoGen, Tritonia Scientific and Oceanium have already leased some of the new space, along with Shetland firm Ocean Kinetics, which is expanding into Argyll.

Anita Eriksson, left, and Siv Hoberg Iversen, of PatoGen, which has a base in the building.

Teresa Garzon, key account manager with fish health firm, PatoGen, 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.”

Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, added: “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.”

Morag Goodfellow, of HIE.

Ms Goodfellow continued: “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.”

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 greater access.

Malin House is adjacent to the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS), which is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) network.

HIE said that, in the context of the global climate emergency, researchers at SAMS and commercial firms at the EMSP were playing “a key role in safeguarding the oceans through greater understanding of the marine environment.”

The agency added: “Together they are developing a sustainable marine economy that benefits people while safeguarding the health and productivity of the seas.”

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