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Proposed designs for two major projects in Inverness to go on show

Designs are set to go on show for two major development projects in Inverness following a successful bid by The Highland Council to the UK Government Levelling Up Fund.

Under the banner of the Inverness Zero Carbon Cultural Regeneration Project – the bid to the Levelling Up Fund for almost £20 million brought together three projects that, when combined, will drive the environmental, cultural, and economic regeneration of Inverness.

Two of the projects include:

  • £5.2 million for the Northern Meeting Park to refurbish the existing grandstand and to create a new pavilion and improved infrastructure for events, supported by ground source heating;
  • £7.1 million for the Bught Park Stadium for a refurbished grandstand, interactive museum of shinty and improved infrastructure for more large-scale outdoor events, supported by ground source heating.

Design work on the two schemes is currently underway and initial concepts for the Northern Meeting Park and Bught Park will go on show for public consultation on June 21 at Canal Park between 10am and 3pm.

The schemes will also go on show in the evening of June 21 at a venue to be confirmed.

The Northern Meeting Park will see the existing B listed historic grandstand refurbished and the creation of a new pavilion within the grounds of the park with a large function room suitable for a wide range of activities by local user groups.

Additional infrastructure will be installed to support a wide range of outdoor events.

At Bught Park, there will be a refurbishment of the existing stadium and upgrading of the changing room facilities to meet modern standards.

Alongside this will be a new pavilion building which will feature a new museum of shinty, with added event infrastructure to support the hosting of larger scale events.

Work on the third project to develop a new net zero carbon heat solution in Castle Street is progressing through the feasibility phase.

Project Director Fiona Hampton said: “These initiatives will not only breathe new life into some much-loved local venues, but with integrated renewable energy sources, they will deliver economic benefits to local businesses and help to meet the Governments’ zero-carbon targets.

“We’re very excited to be able to share our early plans for the Northern Meeting Park and the Bught with the community.

“Each of the projects will bring something new to Inverness.  Bught Park will provide a hub for sports and leisure facilities for the future and will develop the home of the Highland’s indigenous sport, shinty.

“The work at the Northern Meeting Park allows us to preserve the wonderful listed building and to redevelop the historic home of the Highland Games.

“With the development of a new pavilion and event infrastructure, we’ll be able to welcome 10,000 people to enjoy the venue once again.

“In the meantime, we continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to develop plans and to welcome back events at these popular facilities until the proposed works begin in 2023.

“We would encourage everyone to come along to our public consultation events to give us your feedback on our early designs and to have your say in the development of these exciting projects.”

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund sees investment in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “It’s fantastic to see plans progressing for improvements at three important cultural sites.

“New and refurbished facilities and attractions will expand their use among the community; while the installation of zero carbon systems will ensure they lead the way in sustainability.

“The UK Government is investing almost £20m from the Levelling Up Fund in these plans, which are part of £2bn for initiatives to level up across the whole of Scotland.”

Malcolm Macleod, The Highland Council’s Executive Chief Officer for Infrastructure, Environment and Economy added: “These two projects are flagship projects for the continuing regeneration of Inverness City Centre through to 2025 and will lead not just to fantastic facilities for residents and visitors, but also related renewable energy schemes that will further contribute to the Council’s Net Zero ambitions.

“Please help us shape these projects by taking part in the public consultation.”