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Funding boost to be used to showcase Lochaber area to the cruise ship market

Work on the two floating pontoons in Fort William
Work on the two floating pontoons in Fort William

New funding will be used to attract lucrative cruise ship operators to Fort William.

The Lochaber Chamber of Commerce will benefit under the latest funding round from the Highland Leader programme, with an award of £35,000.

The chamber’s destination manager, Chris O’Brien, said the money will partly be spent on showcasing the area to the cruise ship market in a bid to maximise visitor numbers through the new pontoon system in place in Fort William.

Lochaber cruise liner visit hailed a big success

He said: “Leader funding will also contribute towards the development of promotional materials showcasing Lochaber to cruise ship operators and customers.

“We will also help local businesses to make the most of the opportunities from the increased number of visitors to the area as a result of the new pontoons in Fort William.”

The funding will also be put to use producing a series of short videos promoting Lochaber as the best place to experience the outdoors, featuring local beauty spots and tourism businesses.

The latest round of grant funding saw a total of £60,380 approved by the Lochaber local area partnership.

The other project to benefit was Kilmonivaig Parish Church Hall near Spean Bridge, which was granted £25,380 to help towards a renovation.

Minister Richard Baxter said: “We aim to make the hall suitable for a wide range of artistic, social and educational uses by community and church groups.

“By upgrading facilities such as the kitchen and toilets, we will also be able to support events at the nearby Commando Memorial.”

Linda Campbell, vice chairwoman of the Lochaber local area partnership, said: “These awards demonstrate the diverse range of projects Leader can support. The local area partnership has developed an action plan outlining community development priorities for Lochaber.

“The projects will contribute towards the delivery of the plan with the redevelopment of Kilmonivaig Parish Church Hall improving access to local services and activities.

“The chamber of commerce project will help promote the area and support tourism.”

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