Oban Lighthouse Depot

Oban lighthouse depot

The Northern Lighthouse Board Depot at Oban is at Gallanach Road, the southern end of the harbour. The depot serves the western lighthouses and carries out technical operations.  

Around twenty staff are employed at the Oban Depot. The base houses stores, workshops and facilities to maintain buoys, beacons and lighthouse equipment. Solar-powered navigation buoys are refurbished here, and helicopter operations occur from here.

The lighthouse service vessels NLV Pharos and NLV Pole Star are based at the Oban Depot and operate throughout Scottish and Manx waters. The ships supply lighthouses and carry out buoyage work as well as carrying out lighthouse inspection voyages, including port authority lights.

NLV Pharos at Oban depot

The quayside at the lighthouse depot is also shared with MV Hebridean Princess during the summer, as well as other large cruise ships.

The first NLB Depot was located at Granton in Edinburgh in the 1880s, which served the eastern coast lights. The Oban Depot took over operations from Granton in 1904, and a gasworks to convey gas to the west coast lights by sea was built here.

The land on which the depot stands formerly belonged to the Manor House Hotel alongside. The NLB added a new two-storey warehouse to the northeast of the site and a helipad on the northwest. Other buildings also belonged initially to the Manor House, and a significant refurbishment programme took place in 2001.

Further Northern Lighthouse Board Depots are at Stromness in Orkney, Shetland and Inverness. The Stromness depot in Alfred Street was built around the same time as the Oban Depot.