Scotland’s Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth visits Northern Lighthouse Board’s Oban Base

People standing in a room

The Northern Lighthouse Board today (Thursday 18 August 2022) welcomed Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth to its Oban base.

In addition to a briefing on NLB’s work to protect lives, property and the environment through the provision of maritime aids to navigation, the Minister toured the base facilities, visited NLB’s vessel PHAROS and met some of the organisation’s frontline team members.

Transport Minister Jenny Gilruth said:

“I was delighted to visit the Northern Lighthouse Board’s Oban base today to hear about the important work they carry out. 

“The organisation plays a vital role in protecting human life and the marine environment, as well as helping to facilitate maritime operations around our coasts, and I enjoyed meeting the team and hearing about their experiences first hand.

“The NLB has provided an essential service for mariners for more than 200 years and the Scottish Government thanks staff for their continued hard work and dedication.”

Mike Bullock, NLB’s Chief Executive said:

“It was a great pleasure to welcome the Minister to our operational base at Oban and to show her the vital work we do to help keep mariners and the precious marine environment around Scotland and the Isle of Man safe from harm.

“It was also an opportunity for the Minister to meet some of the team and to find out about the varied and challenging work our people undertake in support of the mariner and hear how we are addressing the Climate Emergency.” 




Notes to editors

For more information, please contact: Fiona Holmes, Communications Officer tel: 0131 473 3113 / 07831 635393


  • NLB has had a base in Oban since 1904 and employs around 20 staff at the base. They range from Administration, Stores, Information Systems, Helicopter and Buoy Co-ordination, Base Assistants and Engineers. Staff are engaged in the maintenance and refurbishment of floating aids to navigation (buoys) using modern and environmentally conscious processes. The solar powered navigational buoys are maintained to the highest standard to allow for six to eight years continuous deployment ‘on station’ in harsh environments, at the end of which the buoy is brought back to Oban for refit after being replaced by an exact duplicate. The buoy refurbishment process involves descaling and paint application systems, ultra-high pressure washing, airless paint spraying, thickness testing and electronic systems monitoring and repair.
  • Oban is also the base port for NLB’s two ships NLV PHAROS and NLV POLE STAR. The ships deliver stores and supplies to lighthouses, carry out buoy work and the statutory inspection of navigation aids provided by ports, harbours and other third parties.
  • The base also provides berthing facilities for visiting cruise vessels and MV HEBRIDEAN PRINCESS is a regular visitor during the Summer season.


For all media enquiries, please contact:

Fiona Holmes
Communications Officer
T: 0131 473 3100
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