£2.9m housing development takes shape in Fort William

highland councilThe Highland Council has begun work on the £2.9 million development of Tweeddale in Fort William town centre.

The local authority has taken possession of the key site, which has lain empty for a long period, to provide 22 housing flats for council rent. The housing development is due for completion in January 2017.

This latest project takes the total spend to some £40m invested in Fort William over the past five years. In addition to the investment, the council has enabled further investment in the area through work with partners.

A vast amount of work is currently underway and has been completed in the town, to bring old buildings back to life, provide new homes and invest in the future of young people.

Housing projects over the next two years include:

  • £2.9m development of Tweeddale in the Town Centre, to provide 22 housing flats for council rent by January 2017;
  • A £1.8m redevelopment of the former Belhaven Ward to provide 13 housing units, 5 of which will be wheelchair accessible bungalows for council rent and 8 one and two bed flats for rent by Lochaber Housing Association. Due for completion November 2016
  • The creation of 21 new build flats for Lochaber Housing Association at Upper Achintore in a £2.5m project with work due to start on site next month;
  • £1.2m to build 10 new houses for rent by Lochaber Housing Association at Lochyside. Work due to be completed in May 2016.
  • The demolition of the existing buildings at the former “Whisky” Shop on the High Street site to provide 10 flats for council rent. The work, which is yet to be tendered for, is due to start in August 2016.
  • These new housing developments come hot on the heels of last year’s £2.1m project at the former Inverlochy Distillery site which was completed in September and saw council tenants move into 21 new flats and on the completion over the last 4 years of 3 council units at Inverlochy, with an allocated investment of £0.2m and 12 houses at Caol with an investment of £1.62m.

    Leader of the Lochaber committee, Councillor Thomas MacLennan, said: “These are tough financial times for local government, but when you see the list of projects, it highlights just how much is being invested in our area.

    “This latest housing development beginning today at the start of 2016, illustrates the commitment to investing in Lochaber.

    “This important investment comes at what is a most difficult time for the region with a fragile job market and economic uncertainty for many. The council has a crucial role in helping us steer a course through these difficult times.

    “We also recognise that the town pier needs investment and we need to create opportunities to attract more marine tourism which will help drive Fort William forward.

    “I look forward to more work taking place to create new business opportunities, boost the local economy and work with our communities to improve the quality of people’s lives in Lochaber.

    “This year we will also see more services and budgets devolved to the Lochaber committee, so despite the economic challenges, my fellow councillors and I will continue to work hard and people can be assured that we will continue to get our fair share of future investment.”

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