A CINEMA planned for Fort William has been granted permission and work is expected to begin on the two-screen building in about a month.

West Highland businessman Angus MacDonald said the cinema and cafe bar in the centre of the town is scheduled for completion in 15 months.

Mr MacDonald does not plan to make money from the venture, but instead give something back to the community in which his family has lived for centuries.

“We came up with a building designed around a traditional highland building, which was design-led by me.

“I think it is a very warm, attractive traditional building.”

Mr MacDonald set up three open days which attracted 450 people. The construction firm from Ayr, 3b, has prepared the site.

He added: “We have achieved planning permission, so in record time through to planning.

“We are now waiting on a building warrant and I suspect we will start building in a month.

“The plan is to open in time for the six day motorbike trials next May, so 15 months from now.”

The Herald:

There will be one 100-seater screen and an 85-seater screen, and an 80-seat cafe bar, above, and a terrace overlooking the square.

With no other funders, it is expected to cost Mr MacDonald “several million” pounds.

“I will be the owner but I don’t expect to make a penny in return from it.”

Mr MacDonald is an entrepreneur and philanthropist and has sold businesses he built up for more than £151 million, this week selling his Specialist Waste Recycling firm to Biffa for over £30m in a deal from which he earned about £8m. Highland Council documents confirm permission.