Business Plan approved for Victorian Market, Inverness
A Business Plan for the transformation of the Market Hall (including the former Fish Hall) at the Inverness Victorian Market was approved by Members of Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee today (21 November 2019).
Members agreed an amendment to the recommendations that:
- subject to recommendation 4, those traders not returning will be entitled to compensation of 9 months and those returning will be entitled to 6 months as detailed in the report plus an additional 6 months rent free;
- the common good fund arrange one to one consultations with the tenants of the Victorian Market impacted by the proposals to try and agree where feasible individual tailored solutions for progressing in co-production with all concerned;
- decanted traders meeting the new criteria be invited to apply for a new tenancy and be given the first option right to said tenancy.
Stuart Black, Executive Chief Officer Transformation and Economy said: “The overall aim of the Business Plan is to create a viable future for an asset that is currently a financial drain on the Inverness Common Good Fund and to increase footfall in the city centre to the benefit of the 800 businesses located there."
The Business Plan which was developed at the request of the City of Inverness Area Committee follows on from the Victorian Market Action Plan which aims to improve trading conditions for the Market and the city centre.
Councillors were updated on the two-year ongoing discussions process that has taken place with Market businesses and members of the Victorian Market Stakeholder Group in the preparation of the Business Plan.
The Victorian Market is owned by the Inverness Common Good Fund and The Highland Council has a duty to ensure best value returns on the asset.
Approval was given for £1.5m from the Inverness Common Good Fund - subject to maximising third party funding opportunities – and to instruct officers to prepare a project tender to deliver the agreed business plan.
The project to transform the Victorian Market Hall / Fish Hall will enable businesses currently trading in the Market Arcade and Queensgate to remain open during the refurbishment.