Public opinion sought for major River Ness artworks

The Highland Council and partners Creative Scotland and Highlands & Islands Enterprise are seeking public opinion on the Inverness City Arts – River Ness Art Projects including the proposed siting of the main artwork “The Gathering Place” at Friars Shott on the north end of Huntly Street, Inverness.

An exhibition about the River Ness Art Projects will be displayed in the Eastgate Centre Inverness on Saturday 23 January 2016 (9am – 5:30pm) - following which it can viewed in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery until 20 February 2016.

Members of the public will be invited to take part in a short survey about the exhibition so that they can have their say on the proposals for the River Ness Art Projects.

From 23 January, details of the exhibition will be available online at and the survey will also be online at

Comments can also be sent via email to

This significant public art project includes proposals for a major new visitor destination created along the banks of the River Ness in Inverness.  The project is being led by the Inverness City Arts (ICArts) working group of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee.

The public were previously invited to have their say on the River Ness Arts proposals in May 2015 when a presentation and exhibition on the project took place at Trinity Church.

Chair of the ICArts Working Group, Councillor Ken Gowans said: “We are now at a critical planning point in the River Ness Art Projects. Following advice from the artist, engineers and planners, Members of the ICARTs Working Group have chosen a preferred location for the siting of the main attraction, “The Gathering Place” and we would like to hear public opinion on this choice and the other art installations planned.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to put Inverness on the destination map for art and cultural tourism. The proposed projects are not just an end in themselves; they are part of the beginning of a new City Vision for Inverness and it is important that we hear what the public have to say on the proposals.”

Provost and Leader of City of Inverness, Councillor Helen Carmichael added: “The public art programme has been designed to enhance the riverside and complement the River Ness Flood Alleviation Scheme. Funding has already been approved for this project but we still want to hear what people think of the proposals.”

The projects are:

  • The Gathering Place – a major artwork designed to bring people together to enjoy the River Ness. 
  • The Sculptural Destination - an iconic landmark to visit, interact with or view.
  • Rest Spaces - relaxation areas for individuals or small groups.
  • The Trail – a paper or digital map and trail from Ness islands to the river mouth including things of local interest.
  • River Connections - seating areas and poetry set into stones.
  • Children’s Riverside Water Feature – for young people and families with educational opportunities.

The £758,350 project has been commissioned by The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts Working Group and has funding approval from Creative Scotland £305,600 (40%), The City of Inverness Common Good Fund £280,750 (37%), The Highland Council £106,000 (14%) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £66,000 (9%).

19 Jan 2016