Work to improve access to Oban Airport and open up the business park to new opportunities should start in the autumn.
The decision to release almost £100,000 to develop the full business case was announced recently.
The council’s policy lead for special projects, Councillor Ellen Morton, said: ”This is good news for Oban and Argyll and Bute. The whole Lorn Arc programme has real momentum now and we are keen to keep it going. With these funds the team will be able to develop the business case, ensuring that the project is viable and will bring real benefits.
”The site at Oban Airport is ripe for development and will make a fantastic business park. The council’s role is in opening up the site, making the necessary infrastructure improvements and enabling private developers to progress the actual business park element.
”This programme will act as a real catalyst for change.”
In order to develop the business case the council has already undertaken some physical works on site such as eradicating knotweed, clearing scrub and carrying out ground investigations which will feed into the design options now under way.
In the background officers will be working on a planning application as well as a masterplan and a development brief. The council will also undertake an economic impact assessment which will provide valuable information on the long-term viability of the scheme. This is all part of the robust, evidence-based approach the council takes for key investment decisions, making sure that the plans stand up and that the project will deliver.
Chairman of Oban, Lorn and the Isles Area Committee, Oban-based Councillor Roddy McCuish, said: “I warmly welcome this news and fully endorse the progress of the Lorn Arc scheme. This is the first of nine projects and I’m eager to see it move forward, with shovels in the ground in September.
“This is key to the economic development of our area – creating jobs and growing the population. The business case will give us as members the comfort that we’re spending public money properly and that the project will have real and lasting benefits.
‘”I’m pleased that we have this decision making framework in place, ensuring that it goes through the local area committee first before coming to policy and resources for final approval, ensuring we best meet the needs of Oban and Lorn but also of the Argyll and Bute council area as a whole.”