Highlands and Islands MSP Donald Cameron has given a welcome to the prospect of independent port trust status for Oban harbour.
Mr Cameron commented after Argyll and Bute Council circulated a report which provided an update on proposals for the harbour which provides a base for ferry services to a number of islands including Barra, Coll, Colonsay, Mull and Tiree.
Mr Cameron said: “It is encouraging to see progress being made towards a new fit-for-purpose governance structure for the harbour.
“Getting this right is incredibly important for all the island communities which rely on Oban and of course the harbour makes a significant contribution to the local mainland economy too.
“After all the problems we have seen with the Scottish Government’s disastrous ferry procurement programme, this is a very timely report.”
Councillor Andrew Vennard (Oban North and Lorn), a member of the Argyll and Bute Harbour Board, commented:
“The Harbour Board has worked closely with all the stakeholders to get us closer to a solution that everyone can have confidence in.
“There is still a lot of work to be carried out, particularly with regard to developing a robust business plan, but we do appear to be getting there, and that is good news for all harbour-users.”
Councillor Sir Jamie McGrigor (Oban South and the Isles) added: “This is a significant milestone and points towards a better future for the harbour, with a simplified management structure providing enhanced opportunities for investment in the facilities here.
“If we are to grow our economy, and provide jobs and opportunities for our young people, we need to see more of this joined-up thinking.”