A campaign to attract shoppers in to the Old Town area of Inverness whilst the £6million streetscaping improvements reach a critical stage was launched today (Monday).
Colourful city centre banners entitled “Strictly Come Shopping” have been erected in key locations to promote the message that the city is still very much open for business.
The campaign picks up on the popular “Strictly Come Dancing” theme, inviting shoppers to “mambo around the Market, conga to the cafes and salsa to the salon for the pampering”.
It aims to counteract the impact of restrictions within Union Street, Mid-Church Street and Queensgate as the focus of the streetscape improvements switches to these streets.
Provost Bob Wynd, Chairman of the Inverness City Committee of The Highland Council, welcomed the initiative to encourage the public to visit the city centre and see the improvements that have been completed and those under way.
He said: “Strictly Come Shopping is a topical and catchy theme for our campaign to demonstrate that it is “business as usual” in the Old Town area. We are encouraging people to come and see what we are trying to achieve to brighten up our city centre and enjoy the shopping opportunities that exist.”
The Council is working in partnership with the Inverness BID (Business Improvement District) to promote city centre businesses during the revamp of the city centre.
Brian Philip, Vice-Chairman of Inverness BID said: “Many visitors come here to enjoy the great range of speciality shops, unique live music venues and entertaining “City Jam” street music programme. Our campaign echos this rich musical tradition, combining it with promotion of the great shops and service people experience here in Inverness”
“By joining forces we have been able to produce a bigger, more visible campaign than any one of us could have achieved alone. This is a great example of the BID working with partners to benefit the city centre as whole.”
Businesses in the city centre have received a newsletter advising them of progress on the second and third phases of the streetscape scheme.
They are being advised that Rok Civil Engineering and the Council are able to resume work in the city centre following the completion of works by property owners to rectify building defects in Union Street, Mid-Church Street and Queensgate.
Temporary traffic restrictions will remain in place to allow the works to proceed as quickly and safely as possible. During these works, full pedestrian access will be maintained and all deliveries will be accommodated with assistance, as necessary. Buses will operate from north Church Street and Queensgate.
Works will involve:-
Union Street: water mains renewal and connections and streetscape construction works;
Mid-Church Street: water main service connection and streetscape construction;
Queensgate: streetscape construction.
The aim is to limit the working time in front of each property to six weeks. However, this is dependent upon the condition of the underground utilities. And the contractor has said they are committed to undertaking their operations with the minimum inconvenience to businesses, residents and the public.