PLANS to give a facelift to Cameron Square in the heart of Fort William town centre and create a dedicated events area will be unveiled at a public meeting next week.
Highland Council is inviting people to view and comment on the upgrade proposals at a meeting which will take place at 6pm on Thursday, June 28, in the council chamber in Lochaber House, Fort William.
Currently, no funding has been earmarked for the actual works, but a council spokesman said the meeting is a first step towards identifying where the monies might come from.
Capita Symonds has been appointed by the local authority to look at regenerating Cameron Square as a third and final phase of the High Street works. Highlands and Islands Enterprise has contributed 50 per cent of the funding for the study.
Phases one and two saw the pedestrian underpass lining High Street to An Aird refurbished and Gordon Square at the west end of town become the new end of the West Highland Way, with artwork and tiered grassed areas created to give a more relaxed feel to the space. The Gordon Square area will further be enhanced later this year on completion of Ashford Property’s £7 million shops, pub/restaurant and hotel development on the site of the former Grand Hotel and McTavish’s Kitchen.
It is proposed that Cameron Square could also be developed to provide a more relaxed seating and events area with the possibility of a covered section to allow all-weather performances.
At a ward forum held in Fort William earlier this year, it was agreed that the town needed to increase footfall to maintain a vibrant High Street economy and that this could be helped by promoting more events in the town centre.
Highland councillor Brian Murphy, chairman of Fort William Steering Group, said: “This is an exciting development which would help to re-energise the town centre by bringing more events into the High Street.
“The Outdoor Capital of the UK is doing excellent work by promoting Lochaber as the home for events and this offers an opportunity to provide a base for small events and performances in the heart of Fort William.”