The Oban Times

The Oban Times - - Letters -

There was ex­cel­lent news in re­cent days as the owner of the alu­minium smelter in Fort Wil­liam un­veiled its plans to trans­form the plant into a sub­stan­tial man­u­fac­tur­ing hub by ex­pand­ing and em­ploy­ing many hun­dreds of peo­ple.

The news was, quite rightly, greeted en­thu­si­as­ti­cally by lo­cal politi­cians Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Bade­noch, and Ian Black­ford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber.

Mr Black­ford summed up the news by say­ing: ‘There is no doubt in my mind that what they are do­ing is good for Lochaber and the High­lands.’ He added that there was ‘the real prospect of re-in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion of the High­lands bring­ing very much-needed jobs and an eco­nomic boost’.

Ms Forbes, for her part, re­flected the ex­cite­ment felt across Lochaber by com­ment­ing: ‘The po­ten­tial for jobs is enor­mous.’

It is heart­en­ing to see such pos­i­tiv­ity, though Mr Black­ford was also cor­rect in warn­ing that so­cial in­fra­struc­ture must be in place to al­low the de­vel­op­ment to go ahead.

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