Fort William Town Team minutes

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At Fort William Town Team’s meeting on April 8, the following matters were discussed:

AGM Date: The team has decided to postpone its AGM to October.

Retractable Canopy, Cameron Square: An appeal has been submitted to Highland Council.

Town Centre Action Fund: Three members attended a meeting on Friday April 5 with Highland Council, Lochaber Chamber of Commerce, Councillor Andrew Baxter, Fort William Community Council and the High Street Retail group to discuss the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Action Fund of £50million. Nearly £3m has been allocated to Highland. Inverness is ineligible for this fund.

The Town Centre Action Plan from 2014 was referred to and discussed. The fund needs to be spent by 2020. The fund is for capital projects. Four ideas proposed so far:

  • Gateway features, including ways of channeling people into the town.
  • Link from the High Street to the waterfront and the Old Fort.
  • Canopies along the pedestrian sides of the High Street to keep people dry.
  • Move the existing Thursday market further into town and include a craft market. After some discussion, the Town Team favoured a link to the waterfront and Old Fort.

Concern was expressed about people walking along the cobbles and climbing over the railings. The team reported that Dot Ferguson was asked if signs could be erected to dissuade people from using this method to get from the town to the Promenade. Town Team added the idea of coloured lights along the Promenade.

Bike pumptrack: The team discussed using the fund for this along with expanding the bike-friendly scheme to include storage and more bike racks. There is bike storage at the station but it was unclear whether anyone knows where the keys are kept. The team discussed the fund raising well and thought more could be made of it.

AOCB: Sue has resigned as Secretary as she is moving away from the area. Moira thanked Sue for all she has done over the last few years and wished her well. The other volunteers echoed their thanks, too, and said she would be missed.

The next meeting is on Monday May 13 from 7-9pm at the West End Hotel.