Lochaber to allocate £200k for town centres

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Lochaber is to get nearly £200,000 in new funding as part of a government initiative to regenerate town centres.

Members of The Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee last week welcomed new monies.

In partnership with COSLA, the Scottish Government has provided £50million to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020.

Every local authority has received an allocation of the fund based on an equal weighting of the number of towns in a local authority (where a towns is a locality with a population equal to or greater than 1,000 people) and the local authority population.

The total allocation ring-fenced for Highland is £2,965,000 – the fifth highest allocation in Scotland.

Chairman of the Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson (Caol and Mallaig) commented: ‘The Town Centre Fund will enable us to invest in local improvements and help town centres to become more diverse, successful and sustainable.

‘This could include repurposing buildings and improving access and infrastructure. What we have is an opportunity to build on work already done to develop and implement town centre action plans that will increase footfall through local improvements and partnerships.’

And to bring decision-making closer to communities, it is the local area committees which will take on the role of identifying and recommending which projects receive funding.

As well as the Lochaber Area Committee being allocated £198,967, our area also sees the Isle of Skye and Rasaay Committee provided with £198,967 to allocate.

Councillor Henderson added: ‘The money allocated to us has to be spent within the next 12 months.

‘I would like to see this support for investing in our town centres continue.  If it does we will be able to forward plan and look in detail at which projects can best re-purpose our town centres to help them become more diverse, successful and sustainable.’