THE highest number of participants in a decade will take to the stage in a sports field at Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail – the Royal National Mod – next month, as it returns to Fort William for the first time in 10 years.

About 3600 people will be involved in the nine-day spectacular of Gaelic music, arts and sport, which runs from Friday, October 13, until Saturday, October 21.

Last year’s event generated £2.5 million for the host location, the Western Isles.

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The Mod will begin with a torchlight procession on the Friday night, followed by an opening ceremony at the Nevis Centre.

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, which organises the Mod, said: “We’re excited to be returning to Fort William for the first time in 10 years and to do so with a record number of participants is just terrific.

“We’re thrilled to have local celebrities Robert Robertson, Ross Wilson and Na h’Oganaich as part the opening ceremony, kicking off what is going to be an incredible Royal National Mod 2017.”