Plans are being put in place to host the first public consultation event on the Fort William 2040 Masterplan and Delivery Programme in over two years.
Since the plan was first developed in 2018, the intention has been to host a large public consultation and update event annually.
However, this was not possible in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.
The event will be held in Caol Community Centre on Wednesday 2 November, with two open drop-in sessions, which will follow the same format, running from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm.
The format of the event is that of a “trade fair”, with a range of stalls for delivery organisations and specific FW2040 projects to display information and engage with the public.
In addition, people will be able to speak to representatives of the FW2040 Board and the recently established Community Stakeholders’ Group.
FW2040 was produced following community consultation in 2018/19 seeking priorities for the future development of the town and surrounding area.
Feedback from participants helped to create a vision, masterplan and delivery programme designed to achieve those priorities.
This focuses on four key themes, which aim to make Fort William “A Great Place to Live”, “A Connected Place”, “A Place Facing Water”, and “A Net Zero Town”.
Multiple organisations are contributing to this vision by delivering projects under the FW2040 banner. These include Thomas Telford Corpach Marina, active travel developments, the new Belford Hospital, new housing developments, flood protection works and improved internet connection speeds among others.
Over the lifetime of the programme, additional projects will emerge and develop in response to further consultation and new funding opportunities.
Commenting on plans for the forthcoming event, Cllr Kate Willis, Lochaber Area Committee Chair said:
“I am delighted that a large public consultation event is once again able to be held for FW2040.
“This will be a great opportunity to hear about the progress being made by partners in delivering projects that contribute to the 2040 vision for the town.
“Importantly, this is also a great way for people to speak to project representatives directly and have their say as to future priorities for FW2040.
“I hope as many people as possible will come along and look forward to welcoming them on the day.”
Alastair Nicolson, HIE Area Manager for Lochaber Skye & Wester Ross and current Chair of the FW2040 Board said:
“This is an exciting opportunity to engage with the people of Fort William and Lochaber on the masterplan.
“It will showcase the collective effort that is underway to deliver the vision and steer the next stages.
“We very much look forward to welcoming people on the day, sharing with them the progress made over the past two years and hearing their thoughts on priorities for the future.”
The final programme for the event is being drawn up and full details will be released in October.