The Oban Times
has been written and said about the boom times being enjoyed economically by the Highlands in general and Lochaber in particular.
A surge in the number of tourists visiting the area has been attributed to various causes – including the proliferation of cruise ships, the effect of Brexit and a trend for ‘staycations’. Whatever the reasons, the increase in visitor numbers is very welcome.
And, of course, we have seen the arrival of the GFG Alliance which has taken over the Fort William aluminium smelter and revealed plans for expansion, including the prospect of bringing in new workers. There are, indeed, many more instances that could be quoted of companies investing in Lochaber’s future.
However, while all that is hugely positive, there are questions that must be asked about sustainability in the light of a major report which ranks the Highlands among the worst places in Britain for broadband speeds.
MSP Rhoda Grant is right to voice concerns about the situation, though we welcome Connectivity Secretary Fergus Ewing’s reassurance that the Scottish Government is on track to deliver fibre broadband to at least 95 per cent of premises by the end of this year. We hold him to that pledge and trust he will deliver.