Residents at Hilton, Inverness, have played their part in an environmental project in the heart of their community, which was formally opened today (Thursday) by Provost Jimmy Gray, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Inverness City Committee.
The project, the centrepiece of which is a floodlit sculpture, is the brainchild of the local Hilton community who wanted to improve the open public space in front of Hilton Community Centre.
Jean Slater, Chairperson, Hilton, Milton and Castle Heather Community Council, said, “This is Community Planning at its very best where the local people wanted to change their environment for the better. By working in partnership with the public, private and voluntary agencies, they have achieved that. This project is the result of extensive community consultation with local ideas being listened to and included in the finished design.”
Allison Weightman, artist and sculpture, from Scoraig, Wester Ross, has involved people of all ages in the community to create the new area. Her workshops to create tiles and mosaics were held in the spacious mall where local people cast their own impressions in clay that have been incorporated at the base of the sculpture.
She said: “The sculpture of indigenous rock symbolises the strength of the community emerging from their shared experience and stands sentinel at the centre of this welcoming area. The community participation is evident from the individual hand made tiles that surround the base. Hilton folk are fantastic. They were keen to join in and not afraid to say what they wanted. It’s been a privilege to work with them.”
The project – which was supported by greeninverness - has included planting additional trees to create a green avenue as visitors approach the Community Centre. Planters, filled with shrubs and bushes, painted in modern vibrant colours that blend with the urban situation while emphasising the attractiveness of gardens, now frame the sculpture created from Caithness stone.
Maureen Ross, Chairperson of the Community Centre, said: “Children and grannies joined in to show they care about their own area. This is our community space and we’re proud of it. It looks fantastic now.”
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