Contract Awarded for Inverness City Centre Improvements

Work will start in the autumn to create a city centre environment in Inverness deserving of a forward looking capital of the Highlands.

A major contract has been awarded to Tulloch Civil Engineering Ltd for a city centre streetscape and traffic management programme, which will result in improved traffic movement and a more pedestrian friendly environment, with new and widened pavements, new civic areas, new street surfaces, new lighting, street furniture and integrated public artworks.

The cost of the first phase of work is £5.685 million and the focus over the next two years will be on the historic core of the city centre, including Church Street, Union Street, Queensgate, Baron Taylor’s Street, Mealmarket and Grant’s Closes, Lombard and Drummond Streets, Rose Street, Church and School Lanes, Bank Lane and Fraser Street, Stephen’s Brae, Inglis Street and Hamilton Street.

Additional funding will be sought to complete the programme and carry out improvements at Ness Walk; Station Square, Castle Wynd and the Raining Stairs.

New display boards are currently being prepared and will be exhibited at the City Partnership Office from late August.  A temporary public art event is planned for Church Street on Saturday 9 September when 14 Highland artists will engage the local community and visitors in a conversation about the city centre – past, present and future.

The permanent arts works planned on Church Street, Lombard Street, Inglis Street and at the Victorian Market entrances.  In a future development, Station Square has the potential to become a key civic amenity space.

A newsletter will be sent to businesses and residents prior to the commencement of construction works.

Provost William Smith, Chairman of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness and Area Committee, said the overall aim of the project is to create an attractive, vibrant and thriving city centre environment,  which reflects Inverness as a successful, modern city and capitalises on its heritage and its historical old town. As well as improving traffic flows and the efficiency of public transport services, the scheme would develop the links between city centre areas to increase movement within the old town and strengthen the profitability of city centre businesses.

He said: “The city centre streetscape and traffic management programme are the top priorities of our city vision for Inverness.  The award of the contract is an important milestone and over the next two years we should see our city centre transformed into a brighter, less congested and more pedestrian friendly place.”

HIE Inverness and East Highland have approved a £600,000 funding contribution to the programme.

Stuart Black, chief executive of HIE Inverness and East Highland, said:  "Inverness City centre is a key gateway for the region and is often the first impression visitors have of the Highlands. The HIE Network's investment in this project reflects our strategy's aim of growing the area's population and economy by creating attractive and vibrant places to live and work. The work will enhance the environment of the city centre and the emphasis on public art will help the growing stature of Inverness as a successful modern city."







31 Jul 2006