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Fort William aluminium plant clears planning

January 31 2018

Fort William aluminium plant clears planning
Highland Council have granted the go-ahead to a £130m aluminum wheel manufacturing plant at Fort William, championed by the GFG Alliance – owners of an existing aluminium smelter and 100,000 acres of land in the town.

The new factory has been conceived to fashion half the aluminium output of the existing smelter into wheels with design proposals brought forward by Keppie.

This will see a single superstructure, appropriately finished with aluminium cladding panels, arranged across four offset monopitch bays, enabling the roof as a whole to be lowered and thus minimise its impact on views from Nevis range.

Explaining their approach to the building Keppie wrote: “This roof form acts as the fifth elevation and contains attributes such as controlled North light into the production area, potential solar collection from photovoltaic panels and potential rainwater harvesting. This unique, precise, linear, industrial form has aesthetic similarities to the aluminium slabs produced on site by the Applicant. There is also a rigour to the horizontality of the design solution that reflects the precision of the manufacturing process within.”

A landscape strategy for the wider site seeks to marry elements of the surrounding landscape such as moorland, burns and forest with the parallel factory slabs. It is hoped to begin construction later this year with the first alloy wheels set to roll off the production line by the first quarter of 2020.
Fort William hosts the UK's last remaining aluminium smelter
Fort William hosts the UK's last remaining aluminium smelter
Four parallel bays break down the massing of the huge structure
Four parallel bays break down the massing of the huge structure


Gandalf the Pink
#1 Posted by Gandalf the Pink on 31 Jan 2018 at 14:36 PM
I like this.

Great news for Fort William and the West Highlands.
hector mcvector
#2 Posted by hector mcvector on 31 Jan 2018 at 15:39 PM
visuals look far too sunny for fort william - I wish them luck with the "potential solar collection" in the land of perpetual rain clouds!
#3 Posted by Killermont on 1 Feb 2018 at 09:43 AM
Superb news for Fort William and the West Highlands! Once again Sanjeev Gupta doing more for British and Scottish industry than the combined efforts of Holyrood and Westminster!
#4 Posted by Cateran on 1 Feb 2018 at 21:40 PM
Excellent news which will hopefully provide long-term, high quality jobs. I just wonder how they're going to get them to the markets though. The A82's a bloody nightmare at the best of times, never mind the winter weather or summer caravanette convoys.
#5 Posted by Terra on 3 Feb 2018 at 20:00 PM
For a factory, its very nice indeed.
Nairn's Bairn
#6 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 8 Feb 2018 at 09:35 AM
A brilliant investment for Lochaber, well done to all for the quick delivery and processing of this design and permission.

Given Fort William's levels of precipitation there's going to have to be some serious detailing at those valley/abutments though!

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