Town Centre Funding Agreed for Shovel-Ready Inverness Projects

Four projects have been offered a total £252,468 Scottish Government Town Centre funding by Members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee.

City of Inverness Area received a total allocation of £252,468 Town Centre Funds for investment in the eligible settlements of Beauly, Drumnadrochit, Inverness (Balloch, Culloden, Smithton, Milton of Leys, Westhill, Inverness), and Ardersier.

Projects need to have started by end of March and grant spent by the end of September.

The four successful projects offered Town Centre Funds are:

High Street, Inverness

£34,510 to The Highland Council (Performance and Governance) to declutter the High Street to improve the environmental aesthetics and to make a better pedestrian/cyclist experience by having fewer obstacles.

The removal of extraneous street furniture and restoration of paved surfaces will improve the amenity of the area and thus deliver public benefit.

The specific items of expenditure are as follows:

            o redundant decorative lighting columns removed

            o refreshed street lighting catenary

            o replacement of banner/lighting columns

            o removal of bollards

            o refurbishment of benches

            o more space for pedestrians/cyclists

            o improved environmental aesthetics

7-17 Union Street, Inverness

£112,958 to The Highland Council (Infrastructure and Environment) for shopfront improvements as part of the £10m redevelopment of 7-17 Union Street.

Ground floor retail frontages will be enhanced to preserve the historic character of the original property and townscape of the city centre.

Vacant shop, Drumnadrochit

£75,000 to Glen Urquhart Community Council to demolish a vacant former shop.

This is part of a wider community, Highland Council and Highland Housing Alliance partnership project to create community amenity space and enable repurposing of adjacent land for affordable housing.

Land occupied by the vacant property could be used for a parking, drop off area for the primary school and relocate the children’s playpark.

Future enhancements are likely to include planting with native trees, and additional play facilities.

The change of use of this area will also facilitate the extension of the shinty pitch to accommodate major shinty finals.

Men’s Shed Project, Inverness – Pavilion

£30,000 for completion of final refurbishment, heating, lighting and insulation.

Councillors also decided on a reserve project – Beauly Public Toilets – which would be followed up if any underspend occurs.

This project by Beauly Community Council is to refurbish the public toilets to provide a modern toilet block with direct access cubicles to enhance the amenity of the village to the benefit of the community and visitors.

Provost and Leader of Inverness and Area Cllr Helen Carmichael (pictured) said:

“Inverness Councillors welcome this town centre funding from the Scottish Government which aims to stimulate local construction activity and support employment in these very difficult COVID times of economic crisis.

“The projects chosen have been agreed upon their eligibility and deliverability within the tight timeframe of 31 March 2021.

“These shovel-ready projects will provide community benefit and economic boosters as quickly as possible using the funding.”