A new enterprise week in Argyll should be held in one of the poorer areas – and not “boom town Oban” a local councillor said this week.
Councillor Bruce Marshall was speaking at Argyll and Bute Council’s Environment Development and Infrastructure Committee, which was being updated on plans for Argyll Enterprise Week, taking place in Oban from Monday October 31 – Friday November 4.
It will comprise of week of activities aimed primarily at new and existing small to medium sized enterprises to help them learn new skills, meet new contacts, access support and ultimately grow their business in Argyll and beyond.
The event is being hosted by the council’s Business Gateway and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
Councillor Marshall, who represents the Dunoon ward, said: “Oban is Argyll’s boom town. Surely it should be held in an area of economic decline?
“I really think this is being held in the wrong part of Argyll. Oban doesn’t need this, other areas do.”
Chairwoman of the committee, Councillor Ellen Morton, from the Helensburgh and Lomond area told the meeting Oban had been selected for the pilot week based on the town’s availability of a main venue for the trade fair at the Corran Halls and its range of smaller venues for workshops and seminars.
Yesterday, Councillor Morton, said: “We would like as many people as possible to come along and find out about business opportunities in Argyll and Bute. This first, pilot event is taking place in Oban to take advantage of venues and transport links to island communities, the central belt and other areas across Argyll and Bute.
“If there is sufficient interest, we will look forward to rolling this out to other locations in future years. We would encourage everyone to get behind Enterprise Week and make a it a huge success for local businesses and communities.”
Jennifer Nicoll, area manager for Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said: “Careful consideration was given to the location for Argyll Enterprise Week, which is a pilot event, and if successful will be rolled out to the other main centres of population within Argyll. O
“Oban was the chosen location for this pilot activity due to the accessibility of those based on the islands, the availability of venues in which to host the event, and the potential pool of attendees.”