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Kinlochleven


Highland

A village in the Lochaber district of SW Highland Council Area, Kinlochleven lies at the head of Loch Leven. It lies on the River Leven which flows west from the Blackwater Reservoir to Loch Leven. It initially developed as a stopping place on the military road across Rannoch Moor to Fort William, built in the 1740s, and in 1909 a company village was created here in association with an aluminium smelting plant. The opening of the Ballachulish Bridge in 1975 and the run-down of production at the smelter, which eventually closed in 2000, brought economic depression to the village. However, hydro-electricity is still generated for the Lochaber Smelter at Fort William, with the excess sold to the national grid, and an ambitious redevelopment plan has been put in place by the Kinlochleven Land Development Trust, bringing noticeable regeneration to the village. Kinlochleven now benefits from new ventures such as a Business Park, the Ice Factor climbing centre, Kinlochleven Visitor Centre, Atlas Brewery, and Blackwater Bunkhouse and Campsite, all located on the site of the former smelter.

The availability of vast amounts of free electrical power ensured that Kinlochleven was one of the first communities in Britain to have electric street lights.


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