Work is poised to begin on 15 much-needed flats in Fort William as part of the largest housing programme in Lochaber for nearly 50 years.
Elgin-based Robertson Construction has won the contract to convert Lochaber House in the town’s High Street – providing nine flats for Highland Council and six flats for mid-market rent by Highland Housing Alliance, as well as a ground floor shop.
The £2 million project is one of several major developments in the Lochaber area, with a staggering 350 new affordable homes expected to be built over the coming months – providing an employment boost at a time when many have been left out of work.
Councillor Ben Thompson, chairman of the housing and property committee, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many houses being built in Lochaber and not just in Fort William, but particularly in the more rural and islands areas where the impact is providing massive benefit to local communities.”
Councillor Allan Henderson, interim chairman of the Lochaber Committee, added: “We’re informed that this is the largest housing programme in the area since the mid-1970s.
“The provision of affordable housing in Lochaber area is progressing well with a lot of good work going on.
“This is a huge boost to those needing housing in the area and to the Lochaber economy.
“The list of new housing achievements by the council and its partner housing associations is impressive and is providing much-needed affordable new homes in our communities.”
Other housing developments in Fort William area include the conversion of former offices at Fulton House to create 12 flats for rent by Lochaber Housing Association. The scheme has an anticipated completion date of August.
The Blar Mor development in the town consists of 117 new homes for Highland Council, Highland Housing Alliance and shared equity properties.
The first 55 homes are due for completion by this summer with the remaining due to be completed by August 2022.
Work is taking place at the former Achintore Primary School in Fort William to provide 37 new homes for Highland Council and Highland Housing Alliance, with anticipated completion in April.
At Glasdrum Road, six flats for council rent are due completion due in May 2021.
Another six housing units for shared ownership at Rankin Crescent, Fort William, are currently being developed by Lochaber Housing Association and due to compete in late 2021 with negotiations ongoing to deliver a further 28 units over two future phases.
And in other parts of Lochaber, progress is being made for four housing units on the Isle of Rum, 20 homes at Spean Bridge, and five homes at Strontian.
The housing development has benefited from £10.9m in Scottish Government grant assistance, through the mainstream housing programme and through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme.