Bught Park project encouraging Local Job Growth and Development

Workers at new Bught Park Pavilion
Workers at new Bught Park Pavilion. Photo Credit: High Life Highland

Issued on behalf of High Life Highland

Clark Contracts, who are the lead contractor, on the UK Governments’ Levelling Up Funded Bught Park improvements project, have been on site since January preparing the first construction phases, with excellent progress now beginning made on the development, which aims to be completed by March 2025.

Their decision to hire local workforce not only boosts the reputation and demand for regional skills but also instills confidence among young professionals and creates richer opportunities for careers close to home.

Clark Contracts are currently utilising a range of local subcontractors, including for demolition, groundworks, dry lining, joinery and suspended ceilings, mechanical works and for a timber defects survey, resulting in over £4m being invested back into the local economy.

Both the site manager and project manager are based locally to the project.

The Highland Council’s Inverness City and Area Leader Councillor Ian Brown, and Co-Chair of the Levelling Up Fund Programme Board, said: “By Clarks opting to employ individuals from within the community it is not just a strategic decision but shows their commitment to us in cultivating a thriving local economy. This ensures that income stays within the Highlands, showcasing a steadfast commitment to enhancing the economic well-being of our communities.”

Clark Contracts Director, Michael Scanlan, emphasised, “We are committed to supporting the local economies in which we work, and by working with the local community and giving precedence to a local workforce on the Bught Park project, we are not only building this fantastic new facility, but fostering resilient economies, reinforcing community bonds, and laying the groundwork for sustained prosperity in the region.”

All three Levelling Up Fund 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. 

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.  

  • Under the banner of the Inverness Zero Carbon Cultural Regeneration Project – the bid brought together three projects that, when combined, will drive the environmental, cultural and economic regeneration of Inverness.  
  • £19.9 million was awarded for: the development of a new energy centre in Castle Street to provide heat and energy to Inverness Castle and Inverness Town House; the Northern Meeting Park to upgrade existing facilities and provide a new community pavilion and the Bught Park Stadium Complex for improvements to existing infrastructure for more large-scale outdoor events, new changing facilities, a new pavilion and shinty experience. All three levelling Up Funded Projects will have a new heating source contributing to net zero targets.

Castle Street Energy Centre (£4.4M): A castle has overlooked the River Ness since 1037. The current castle was constructed on the site of the original in 1836, as a courthouse and prison. Now, Inverness Castle is being transformed into a world class visitor attraction.

  • This is part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal, which is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.
  • The Levelling Up Fund award will support the development of a new Energy Centre in Castle Street to provide heat and energy to Inverness Castle and Inverness Town House.

Northern Meeting Park refurbishment (£5.9M): The funding will refurbish Northern Meeting Park, playing host to various professional/amateur sporting events and games since it opened in 1864.  Improvements will include:

  • refurbishment and preservation of the Victorian grandstand.
  • improved access to city centre green space
  • enhanced sporting and cultural facilities.
11 Apr 2024