New Fort Wil­liam pon­toons open

The Oban Times - - News -

FORT WIL­LIAM is gear­ing up to wel­come hun­dreds of tourists, with the open­ing of the town’s new pon­toons.

The first cruise liner will ar­rive in Septem­ber, bring­ing 880 pas­sen­gers to the town, and an­other six are booked in for next year.

The two float­ing pon­toons were in­stalled ear­lier this year, close to the West End car park. The devel­op­ment, which cost around £185,000, be­gan fol­low­ing dif­fi­cul­ties bring­ing pas­sen­gers in from a cruise liner moored in Loch Linnhe.

It is hoped the project, led by Fort Wil­liam Ma­rina and Shore­line Com­pany (FWMSC), will at­tract more cruis­ers and leisure crafts to the area.

FWMSC sec­re­tary Sarah Kennedy said: ‘ We are de­lighted to an­nounce the Fort Wil­liam pon­toons are avail­able for the pub­lic to use. We have one cruise ship sched­uled in 2016 and six for next year and the pon­toons will be solely for the cruise ships use on these dates. We are li­ais­ing with High­land Coun­cil, Lochaber Cham­ber of Com­merce, Fort Wil­liam Town Team and Lochaber Col­lege to en­sure the wel­come we give to these cruise ship guests is the best.’

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from each of the part­ners are vis­it­ing In­ver­gor­don on Sun­day June 26 to see how they wel­come and man­age vis­i­tors.

Sue Keen, Fort Wil­liam Town Team sec­re­tary, told The Oban Times: ‘There is still a lot of plan­ning to do with re­gards wel­com­ing the vis­i­tors in Septem­ber, but we want to give in­for­ma­tion to pas­sen­gers about what there is to do in the area. The team has been work­ing on a Fort Wil­liam her­itage trail. This will give them a pur­pose when walk­ing about town.’

FWMSC said the next phase is to in­stall a 15-me­tre shel­ter and no­tice board in the West End Car Park: ‘We hope the pon­toons will be well used by lo­cals and marine tourists.’

Mrs Kennedy said there will be a grand open­ing next month: ‘We hope to carry this out in July/Au­gust to make the most of the sum­mer vis­i­tors and pro­mote the pon­toons.’

Mrs Kennedy is en­cour­ag­ing any groups that want to help sup­port the vis­i­tors wel­come to con­tact her on 07768 805040.

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