Aerial photo of Charles Kennedy building, an old school refurbished into offices, in in Fort William

Highland Council offices, Fort William


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Fort William
The Highland Council
April 2018
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Converting a Victorian school building into new modern office space for Highland Council

A £7.2m contract has been completed by Robertson Northern to convert a listed former Fort William school building - a council-owned Victorian building - into modern offices for The Highland Council.

Built in 1876 and owned by Highland Council, the building had lain disused since 1960, when it was replaced by Lochaber High School.

Robertson Northern renovated the Victorian building, transforming areas into office space for the local authority, with additional room for other public sector partners. Throughout the project there was a focus on retaining the key features of the original 'Grade B' listed office building. We salvaged a sizeable quantity of the existing slate and reused it as part of the wider renovation works.

Renovation works took place alongside the construction of a new two-storey extension named the 'Civic Hub' – which includes a service point, registry office, council chamber, committee rooms and general offices.

Robertson Specialist Division carried out all internal plasterwork.

A more efficient use of space

The new facilities provide a modern, flexible, accessible working environment that will benefit staff and customers, and also frees up more buildings in the town, creating future development opportunities.

The project also sees The Highland Council bringing together its professional and administrative staff from across the wider Lochaber area in the West Highlands to the former Achintore Secondary School, with the consolidation set to save £400,000 per year, delivering services more cost-effectively and efficiently.

It also acts as a gateway building on the A82, providing an attractive welcome as visitors arrive in or pass through Fort William, where a derelict building had previously stood.