Funding flows smoothly for River Ness arts programme

Confirmation of Creative Scotland funding for a public arts project “River Connections” on the banks of the River Ness has been warmly welcomed by members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee.

The latest confirmation of £0.305.6m stage 2 funding from Creative Scotland brings the total funding package for the project to £0.756m. Other funders are the City of Inverness Common Good Fund (£0.280.75m), Highland Council  (£0.105m) and HIE (£0.065m).

Leader of the City of Inverness Area Committee Councillor Ian Brown said: “I am delighted that we have received confirmation of support from Creative Scotland as this now allows the Inverness City Arts Working Group to forge ahead and make progress on this major cultural city centre project which will get excellent value for money providing a new invigoration for Inverness. "

ICArts Chairman, Councillor Ken Gowans added: “This project is about producing artwork that the people of Inverness have a stake in and it will reflect a modern multi-cultural Highlands. The artworks will provide a new focus and vibrancy with lasting impact on the River Ness area.

“The key thing about this project is inclusion and collaboration through our officers, artists and the public. The ICArts working group have chosen artists, and the artists will come forward with broad ideas and their projects will be formed by the public, community groups and businesses. The artists will be expected to consult widely on their concepts.

“We have also included a Workers’ Memorial in the project which will provide a place for locals to pay their respects for friends and family who have fallen in their place of work.”

The River Connections public arts project is integral to the Council’s flood alleviation scheme for the River Ness. River Connections aims to engage with the community and local stakeholders to provide permanent and lasting artistic features along the river. River Connections comprises a series of ambitious projects and arts commissions including:

  • River Connections – artist Mary Bourne,
  • Rest Spaces – artists ‘Dressed For The Weather’,
  • The Trail – artists ‘Dressed For The Weather’,
  • Sculptural Destination – artist Annie Catteral,
  • The Gathering Place (funded by HIE) – artists to be appointed, and
  • A schools project/children’s feature – subject to ICArts Working Group approval. 

Working is progressing on the River Connections project by Mary Bourne who is soon to hold an open day at which the public can view her at work. With the announcement of the Creative Scotland Funding the ‘Trail’ and ‘Rest’ projects will now be commenced by artists ‘Dressed for the Weather’.

A Curatorial Project Manager is working with ICArts Working Group, High Life Highland, the River Ness Flood Alleviation Team and contractors to develop opportunities for educational engagement for local schools on the project.

A series of public consultation events will allow the public to engage with the artists’ on their proposed concepts for their final designs which will have a lasting impact on the River Ness area.

2 Dec 2014
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