City / Region deal progress for Inverness and the Highlands welcomed
Progress on the preparations being made for two projects valued at £3 million for the City of Inverness and Highland regional economy has been welcomed by Members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee.
Members have agreed that a £2 million business case be developed for public works in and around Inverness Castle including:
- Creation of a viewing platform on the North Tower of Inverness Castle for locals and visitors with an entrance area, shop and interpretation on lower floors at a cost of £360,000 (funded by The Highland Council £200K, Inverness Common Good Fund £100K, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise HIE £60K).
- Upgrading Inverness Castle grounds to enhance the visitor experience of going to the Castle. These works will include upgrading paths, the road in front of the Castle, railings, benches and stabilising the Castle banks at an estimated cost of £200,000.
- Works to improve the approach leading to Inverness Castle on Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Castle Wynd toilets including re-cladding the north and east sides of the Museum and Art gallery building; and re-cladding and re-roofing the Castle Wynd Toilet building at an estimated cost of £700,000.
- Extension of Church Street City Centre streetscape improvement works onto Bridge Street and Castle Wynd connecting also with the streetscape works on Bank Street at an estimated cost of £800,000.
The Council hopes to open the Inverness Castle North Tower Viewing Platform by Easter 2016 and aims to invites tenders for works this month June 2015 with a completion date of Spring 2016.
Members also agreed that a £1 million business case for a public access Wi-Fi project be developed. A project board will be established and the council will procure consultants to consider different methods of delivering public Wi-Fi access in Inverness for the benefit of the tourism and business investment economies.
Leader of the City of Inverness Area, Councillor Ian Brown said: “These two major City / Region deal projects are vital for the development of our tourism economy, not just for the Inverness but for the wider Highlands. As the Castle Tower development provides a new attraction that meets the needs of visitors wanting to experience this iconic location; the Wi-Fi project will improve connectivity for visitors planning their experiences in the City and onwards throughout the Highland region.”