Cash boost for Nevis Centre welcomed
STAFF at Fort William’s Nevis Centre are feeling ‘ very fortunate’ after the Highland Council agreed £250,000 funding for the venue.
The centre applied for the money through the Highland Council’s capital discretionary fund and the bid was accepted by Highland councillors on Wednesday (February 8). The cash will be used for urgent repairs to the roof which has been leaking.
Nevis Centre manager Kenny McLaughlin told The
Oban Times: ‘It’s fantastic. The money will make a huge difference. We can’t do anything internally until the roof is fixed, so this is the first big step.’
Mr McLaughlin said that in future they will be looking at upgrading the foyer. He said: ‘The centre is 25 years old now and a lot of it needs upgrading so we are very fortunate to be awarded the money.
‘It also means jobs at the centre have been secured. The centre brings in a lot of money for the community when we have concerts with 700 people and it’s good we won’t lose that.’
Caol and Mallaig councillor Ben Thompson said: ‘ The Nevis Centre is important to both the economy and community of Lochaber. I want to see it revitalised into something like an Eden Court for the West Highlands.
‘I was concerned the council, being under severe budget pressure, would not agree with the proposal to fix the roof. In fact officials recommended the decision be postponed.
‘Thanks to the efforts of the hard-working staff, volunteer management board and users of the centre, plus support from local councillors, we were able to turn the recommendation around into an agreement to fund it now.
‘It’s really important the roof is fixed as soon as possible, as that will allow the centre to find other funders to help with further refurbishment. It’s also important because events like the Mód are coming to Fort William this year.
‘It will make a huge difference to our ability to continue to host major events if the Mód is a success and is held in a suitable building.
‘It’s also great news for staff, who will now have more confidence they have the backing of the council.’