£80m plan for Fort William waterfront is scrapped

PLANS for an £80 million development to transform Fort William's waterfront have been dropped after the consortium behind the long-awaited project pulled out.

The project on the side of Loch Linnhe was to include a supermarket, offices, a library and housing. It would have created 500 jobs. But Fort William Waterfront Ltd (FWW) said it could not be funded in the current economic climate.

The company was chosen as the preferred bidder by Highland Council in October, 2007 and signed missives in May last year.

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However, there has been speculation recently that the project was in trouble and yesterday a spokesman for FFW said: "It is with reluctance that we withdraw… The consortium has put in a great deal of time, work and expense into the project, which we felt was imaginative and beneficial to the town and wider area. However… the global economic situation has changed and it is clear from our inquiries that the scheme is not capable of being funded in today's market."

Dr Michael Foxley, leader of the council's administration, said the council would work with other agencies and the community to maximise the potential of the waterfront, including the creation of a marina.