Progress of FW2040 masterplan projects accessible to public

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A new online ‘storymap’ detailing the progress of future projects and developments in Fort William has been launched this week.

The Fort William 2040 masterplan has been made available online as an interactive map where users can track the town’s big developments, including the new STEM Centre at Blar Mhor and Liberty factory expansion.

The service also gives locals access to information on the many individual projects being led by various organisations, groups and businesses.

Alastair Nicolson (left) of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and Scott Dalgarno, development plans manager at Highland Council, with the FW2040 masterplan ahead of a public consultation in Caol last December. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, Alba.photos.

Around 120 people attended a public consultation event at the Nevis Centre last September to give feedback on the FW2040 masterplan, which sets out all the developments expected to be completed in the town within the next 22 years. The information and comments gathered at the event and during consultations since then have been used to refine the plan and develop a delivery programme.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chairman of the council’s 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.’

An image from the new FW2040 online “storymap”.

The Scottish Government has highlighted that the next stages of FW2040 could benefit from the new Place Principle that was recently approved by Cabinet.

Alongside the new FW2040 report, planners have vowed to continue dialogue with communities, working alongside elected councillors, to monitor the changes that are happening.

Councillor Andrew Baxter, Lochaber area leader, 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 map can be viewed at highland.gov.uk/FW2040 as well as the report which can be read in full.

Details of the annual public engagement exercise to be held in September will be announced in the summer.