Planned alloy wheels plant could be producing in 2020

Planned alloy wheels plant could be producing in 2020

A planned alloy wheels factory that would employ 400 people could be in production by early 2020.

GFG Alliance plans to build the wheels factory in Lochaber as part of an expansion of its smelter near Fort William.

The proposed factory would employ 400 people and could be built to a design based on the shape of aluminium slabs, which are produced at the smelter.

A planning application for the new plant could be submitted to Highland Council in November, but before the application is made, a local public consultation event is scheduled to be held later this month.

A drop-in event for the public was held in Fort William last week involving about 150 people.

GFG Alliance also held a special briefing for local community council representatives. If the project secures planning permission, the plant will convert liquid aluminium from the smelter into about two million alloy wheels a year.

The group said there are currently no large volume producers of alloy wheels in the UK, which imports millions of alloy wheels.

GFG Alliance's managing director of Lochaber operations, Brian King, said: "Our ambition is for this plant to become a leader in its field, producing the most advanced products on the market and employing highly-skilled people."