The announcement of plans to create up to 600 jobs, and invest £120m at the site of the UK’s last remaining aluminium smelter yard at Fort William has been warmly welcomed by Highlands and Islands Green MSP John.
This latest news follows on from the £330m deal announced last month involving Liberty House and Simec to take over the Rio Tinto site in the town.
Speaking following the announcement, John said:
“As a Lochaber man I know the significance the smelter has not just for Fort-William but the entire area.
“When the plant’s future was most recently in doubt, I contacted senior Rio Tinto Executives. We met in the Parliament and I left them in no doubt that they bore a significant social responsibility to the area.
“I was delighted at the collaborative working involving Rio Tinto, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the Scottish Government to give the plant and its valuable hydro schemes a future.
“So, on top of securing the existing 170 jobs, further news of an aluminium wheel manufacturing facility, creating 300 jobs and another 300 in the supply chain is tremendous.
“Credit is due to all those involved and I wish the new owners and their staff every success.
“I sincerely hope the role HIE have played in this will be recognised by the Scottish Government by maintaining the board and their present structure.”