Green light for aluminium wheel plant
Highland Council has granted planning permission for a new 400-worker alloy wheel factory next to the Liberty British Aluminium smelter at Fort William.
The consent, which comes with a number of standard conditions, clears the way for the company to begin detailed design on the landmark project to develop the UK’s only large-scale alloy wheel plant, with work hopefully beginning on site later this year.
It is intended that the new plant – part of a £120m investment by GFG at Fort William - will use aluminium from the adjacent smelter to manufacture up to two million wheels a year for the British car industry, with production beginning in early 2020. The ambitious plans for the site will make Fort William a major centre for the automotive industry, supplying at least one fifth of all the wheels required by UK vehicle manufacturers.
“Our plans for Fort William will not only transform the economic prospects of the area but also create the UK’s only large-scale alloy wheel plant, a major step forward in Britain’s manufacturing capabilities," said Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG Alliance , parent of Liberty British Aluminium.
"We plan to invest heavily in R&D to develop a world class product, made in the Scottish Highlands. We look forward to continuing to work with these bodies to fulfil the conditions set out in the planning consent and then to move ahead quickly with the building of the plant."