Building work has been completed for the first phase of the new multi-million pound European Marine Science Park being developed by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in Argyll.
The state of the art building at Dunstaffnage, near Oban, will provide space for the growth of existing and new businesses which wish to tap into the region’s world leading reputation in marine science research and development.
HIE has received the keys from Robertson Northern, the infrastructure, support services and construction group, for the first of three buildings planned for development at the Park over the next ten years.
Area Manager for Argyll and the Islands, Douglas Cowan accepted the building on behalf of HIE, from Allan Macleod, Projects Director of Robertson Northern.
The 20,000 sq ft of office and laboratory space will support businesses in Scotland's growing Life Sciences and Energy sectors and has the potential to support up to 125 jobs.
Douglas Cowan commented: “We are delighted the first of the three buildings which make up the European Marine Science Park is now complete. Now that we have ownership of the building we are moving forward with marketing on a targeted basis with our agents, Graham & Sibbald and with the support of Scottish Development International. We are currently in discussions with a number of potential tenants.
“The building is expected to receive a BREEAM Excellent rating for sustainability and offers businesses co-location with a thriving research, academic and business community, and access to numerous scientific marine research facilities.”
Allan MacLeod, said: “The EMSP Dunstaffnage building has been a most rewarding project for all involved and we are delighted with the final product. The building incorporates many radical design and detail elements which together have created a very individual and dynamic structure.
The Dunstaffnage site is already an internationally recognised centre of excellence for marine science, with the Scottish Marine Institute being home to the Scottish Association of Marine Science (SAMS) - an academic partner of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and the European Centre for Marine Biotechnology.
In August 2010, the HIE Board approved an investment of £7.5m to create this first phase of the Park. HIE contributed £4.5m of its own grant-in-aid budget from the Scottish Government, and attracted the remaining £3m towards this first phase from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).