Spotlight on future of Fort William at successful FW2040 event
Last Wednesday (25 September) the focus was on the future of Fort William with over 20 organisations and groups representing development and investments in the town gathered at the Nevis Centre for the FW2040 Vision – One Year On event.
Billed as a gathering place for people to talk to the groups and organisations promoting the various developments in the area, members of the public dropped in throughout the day to review progress made in taking forward key projects and to give their views on the next stages of the masterplan.
The good turnout from the community ensured that each of the workshops which focused on key themes were well attended with lots of interaction and questions asked and answered.
Representatives attending included Transport Scotland, NHS, Highland Council, UHI, Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, HIE, Forestry & Land Scotland, Scottish Canals, Crown Estate Scotland and major employers including Liberty as well as local community groups and organisations.
The event marked one year since an initial consultation held in September 2018, where feedback from participants helped to develop a vision, masterplan and delivery programme for the future of Fort William and Lochaber.
Chair of the Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee Cllr Allan Henderson who hosted the wrap up session at the end of the event said. “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to drop in and take part in what was a great gathering and a unique opportunity to speak to the key people taking forward projects to transform the town under one roof. The workshops and other interactions through the event created a real buzz which was great to see and feedback has been very positive.
He added: “FW2040 is all about delivering a shared vision for the future of Fort William and Lochaber and the collaborative approach is about all working together to turn aspirations into reality. There is £ ½ Billion of ambition on the 2040 map, and that is without improvements to the A82. What came across clearly on Wednesday was that significant progress has been made in delivering developments over the last year and we want to continue the momentum.”
Alastair Nicolson, HIE’s Programme Manager for Lochaber, said, “We were delighted with the turnout on the day and the contributions people made at the workshops. However, the more views and input we receive, the closer we can align the masterplan vision with the aspirations of the community. I’d therefore encourage as many people as possible to submit their views via the Highland Council website.”
Anyone who was unable to attend in person or who wants to provide extra feedback on the vision and the projects can still get involved and pass on their ideas and comments via an online questionnaire www.highland.gov.uk/FW2040 which will be available until Friday 18th October.