Fort William 2040 Project (FW2040)
The Highland Council is this week launching the first edition of a new shared vision for Fort William and Lochaber and is looking to community representatives to play their part in driving forward change in the area. The Fort William 2040 report, also known as FW2040, includes a Vision, Masterplan and Delivery Programme all prepared with feedback gathered during a major public consultation held in late 2018.
FW2040 has been published as an innovative online ‘Storymap’ at www.highland.gov.uk/FW2040 and will provide easy access to information on the individual projects that various organisations, groups and businesses will be delivering. It is also aimed at pooling ideas and funding, and better coordinating investment and development opportunities. There may be assistance at the national level too with Scottish Government highlighting that the next stages of FW2040 could benefit from the new Place Principle that was recently approved by Cabinet.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said “We are really grateful for the contribution people have made to drawing up the FW2040 vision and delivery programme. With this input FW2040 can now act as the joint mission statement for making Fort William and Lochaber a great place to live, work, invest and visit. We’re asking for Scottish Government to help through their new Place Principle, and I really hope this will help make the case for infrastructure improvements now and for the future.”
Alongside the new FW2040 report, an ongoing dialogue has been agreed which will involve communities working alongside elected Members to monitor the changes that are happening. This collaborative process will help refine, coordinate and support the delivery of changes that will make Fort William and Lochaber a better place.
Andrew Baxter, Chair of the Lochaber Committee, said “We want people to understand what changes are proposed in the Lochaber area and when they might happen, but also to feel more engaged in shaping their future. The Lochaber Committee is excited about the opportunity of working together with community representatives and those investing in the area to maintain Fort William as the beating heart of Lochaber and the West of Scotland.”
The FW2040 report can be read in full at www.highland.gov.uk/FW2040 and details of the annual public engagement exercise to be held in September will be announced in the summer.