Film star Hugh Grant has signed a Press and Journal petition opposing any closure of the historic Fort George barracks near Inverness.
The actor – whose grandfather was commander of the garrison after World War II – threw his weight behind the Fight For Fort George campaign to save the base.
Sharing the P&J’s petition to his 239,000 social media followers yesterday, Mr Grant said: “Dear People of the Highlands, an important petition.”
In 2011, Mr Grant launched a public appeal to help raise £3million to redevelop the Highlanders Museum at Fort George, with the work completed two years later.
His grandfather, Colonel James Murray Grant, was from Inverness and was depot commander at the base, while his father Captain James Murray Grant was also a Seaforth Highlander.
The star of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill revealed in yesterday’s Press and Journal that he was “horrified” to learn that Fort George was being considered for the axe.
He added that it would be “a bleak day for the Highlands” if its 250-year role as an Army base came to an end.
The actor has previously recalled childhood memories of playing in the fort while holidaying in the Highlands from the age of three.
Almost 250 people had signed the petition by last night, including politicians such as SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson, local MP Drew Hendry, and Highland MSPs David Stewart and Kate Forbes.
Other high-profile backers include Warwick Lister-Kaye, son of Sir John and general manager at the nearby Aigas Field Centre, as well as Lord Godfrey and Lady Claire Macdonald, owners of Skye’s Michelin-starred Kinloch Lodge.
Built after the Battle of Culloden, the garrison has been the home of the famous 500-strong Black Watch battalion for almost a decade.
The campaign was launched after it emerged last week that Fort George was being put forward for closure as part of a review by military chiefs.
The Ministry of Defence has insisted that “no final decision” has been taken over the future of the base.