The Oban Times

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Much

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.

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