The former Gleaner Oil site in Ardrishaig is one step closer to being brought back to life as a waterfront community and businesses hub after Argyll and Bute Council agreed funding from its Tarbert and Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund.
Members of the council’s policy and resources committee agreed to contribute up to £250,000 to help deliver the first phase of the ambitious project to redevelop the derelict oil site, in partnership with Scottish Canals.
The first phase of the project will see the redevelopment of the ‘Egg Shed’ building including a new extension and the former garage. It is intended that these buildings will be available for a range of uses including exhibition space focusing on the heritage of the area and the Canal. There will also be new parking facilities and improved walking and cycling links.
The local authority has also agreed £400,000 of capital funding to help with the redevelopment of an important archaeological museum.
The £6.7 million proposal to redevelop Kilmartin Museum will provide more space to curate its expanding collection.
Councillor Aileen Morton, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: “The council is determined to work in partnership with Scottish Canals and the community to deliver projects that will create jobs and help to grow the population of the area, which will help boost our local economy.
“The redevelopment of the redundant and derelict Gleaner site has been championed by the local people and is designed to provide a focus for the community and attract more visitors to the area.
“There is no doubt that it will contribute to the wider regeneration of the Mid Argyll area as well as providing economic opportunities for the local community. I look forward to seeing it being realised and making a real difference to Mid Argyll.”
Kilmartin Glen is regarded as an internationally important archaeological location, where some of the most important prehistoric archaeological objects in Scotland have been found.
Kilmartin Museum is located at the heart of Kilmartin Glen and offers a facility for those interested in the landscape and cultural heritage of Mid Argyll and indeed Scotland. The museum staff also collect and care for archaeological artefacts from across Argyll and Bute. However, the current museum building is no longer regarded as being fit for purpose, by the registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
Applications for funding have been submitted to a number of other organisations, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, and it is expected to be confirmed during the spring 2018 whether these have been successful.
Councillor Aileen Morton added: “Kilmartin Glen and Museum are incredibly important to Argyll and Bute and the wider area attracting visitors from all over the world. The museum offers archaeology and landscape interpretation, investigations, heritage and cultural activity.
“Members of the committee recognised that this is a challenging project and there is still considerable work to be done to secure all the necessary funding which includes a substantial financial contribution from the council.
“We are also happy to continue to support the museum in helping it access other sources of funding to provide a world-class facility.”