A successful planning outcome has been achieved for a key City Centre regeneration project. Whilst some comments were raised regarding the colour of the new pavilion, members of the South Area Planning Committee approved the application subject to further consultation with local Members and the Chair of the Committee to finalise the colour.
The announcement has given the green light for Bught Park improvements, which has been given the go ahead to move to the next stage of development, with the hope that two further projects, Inverness Castle Energy Centre and Northern Meeting Park refurbishment will be recommended for approval in the New Year.
The three projects along the River Ness in Inverness are being supported with almost £20 million from the Levelling Up Fund. The projects will boost the city’s sporting and cultural attractions, preserve key heritage assets, help attract more tourists, and assist in achieving net zero carbon targets.
UK Government Minister for Scotland Malcolm Offord said:
“It’s fantastic to see this project being given the green light to deliver eco-friendly improvements to the local area, enhancing spaces for residents to enjoy while attracting visitors to the area.
“This is being supported with £20m as part of the UK government’s £2 billion investment in levelling-up across Scotland.”
The Highland Council’s Inverness City and Area Leader Councillor Ian Brown, Co-Chair of the Levelling Up Programme Board said:
“The decision made today means we have reached a key milestone, allowing us to continue on to deliver a range of enhanced, public focussed, outdoor & indoor spaces in the city of Inverness, each contributing to the UK Government’s net zero carbon targets.
“We would like to thank everyone who provided valuable feedback both online and during wider public engagement sessions. This not only provided us with the opportunity to take onboard people’s views but allowed us to continue to build relationships with our local communities and stakeholders during the planning process.”
Drew Hendry, MP and Co-Chair of the Levelling Up Programme Board said:
“These projects move us closer to achieving our shared ambitions for a greener and sustainable city by creating public, cultural and tourism development right in the heart of Inverness, with the potential to deliver economic benefits for the city and the wider Highlands.
“As these projects progress, local residents and community groups must be part of the conversation, and I look forward to working closely with them, other elected members and businesses over the coming months as these exciting plans take shape.”
Mark Tate, Chair of High Life Highland said:
“High Life Highland is committed to supporting the delivery of these important projects and we look forward to successfully managing these much improved venues.”
All three projects will support the UK Government Net Zero Carbon agenda by providing sustainable energy to Northern Meeting Park, sustainable energy to Bught Park and a renewable energy centre for Inverness Castle. All new systems will provide energy support to neighbouring properties helping to drive environmental change.
The Levelling Up Fund projects are delivered in partnership by The Highland Council and High Life Highland.