Lochaber town centre projects scoop more than £84,000 in funding

Highland Council headquarters In Inverness. NO F19 council HQ
Highland Council headquarters In Inverness. NO F19 council HQ

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Five Lochaber projects have been offered more than £84,000 of Scottish Government Town Centre funding this week by members of The Highland Council’s Lochaber Area Committee.

Lochaber area received the £84,156 allocation of Town Centre Funds (TCF) for investment in the eligible settlements of Fort William, Caol, Banavie and Corpach.

Projects need to have started by end of March and the grant spent by the end of September.

The five successful projects offered funds are:

• The Black Parks – £15,000 to Sustrans for match funding to attract a further £85,000 for a suite of improvements (lighting, benches, signage, additional ditching and surfacing repairs) on around 1km of walking and cycling infrastructure between the town centre and other key locations. The intention is to create a safer, more attractive route to facilitate walking, cycling and wheeling for everyone, including children and young people accessing the local high school.

• Kilmallie Community Centre Car Park – £23,556 to resurface the car park at Kilmallie Community Centre. The council agreed an asset transfer of the car park to the community centre group in November.

• The Parade, Fort William – £15,400 for Fort William Town Team to purchase and install new waste bins along the Parade and High Street, as well as trough flower planters to be placed adjacent to the war memorial at the Parade. This joint project involving the Royal British Legion Scotland and Highland Council builds upon the 2019/20 TCF to deliver a ‘greener’ High Street by installing trees and renewing street furniture.

• Kilmallie Christmas Lights – £722 match funding to Kilmallie Christmas Lights Fund to purchase permanent Christmas lights and enable associated electrical work for the living trees located at Banavie and Corpach.

• Puffer Pier and Slipway – £29,478 to assist Fort William Marina & Shoreline CIC with the reclamation of 555m² from the seabed to facilitate the re-use of the Puffer Pier and Slipway. This grant offer is dependent on the CIC obtaining a Marine Scotland license in time to award contract before the end of March.  If this does not materialise then the funds are to be moved to the reserve project.

The reserve project is an application by Caol Regeneration Company £40,000 for resurfacing the Highland Council owned car park at Erracht Drive.

Councillor Allan Henderson (Caol and Mallaig), Interim Lochaber Committee chairman, said he was very pleased that these Town Centre-funded projects have been agreed for Lochaber.

Councillor Allan Henderson. NO-F40-Allan-Henderson
Councillor Allan Henderson.

‘The deliverability of each project is crucial as they must be completed by the end of March in order to meet the tight requirements of the Scottish Government grant being offered,’ added Mr Henderson.

‘The projects chosen will help provide a much-needed economic stimulus and boost to our communities during these difficult Covid times and Lochaber councillors look forward to seeing the improvements they will bring on completion in the next two months.’