Highlands & Islands

Plans for new Fort William hospital 'progressing'

Belford Hospital Image copyright N Chadwick/Geograph
Image caption Fort William's Belford Hospital to be replaced by a new building on another site

Work on a planned new hospital in Fort William is progressing, Health Secretary Shona Robison has said.

She also told MSPs at Holyrood that the building to be constructed at Blar Mhor would have the same status as the current Belford Hospital.

The Belford was designated a rural general hospital in 2008, meaning it could provide additional support and services.

Ms Robison said NHS Highland was developing plans for the new site.

Responding to a question from Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes about the designation of the replacement hospital, Ms Robison confirmed it would be a rural general hospital.

She added that it would form part of a redesign of health services in Lochaber and local services would be "enhanced where safe and suitable to do so".

About two years ago, Highland Council bought land in Fort William from Tesco for £2m and made it available for the new hospital.

The site at Blar Mhor was surplus to the supermarket giant's requirements after it abandoned plans earlier this year to build a store on it.

Highland Council said the land would be available for the building of a replacement to Fort William's ageing Belford Hospital.

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