City Committee votes to cancel the tilting pier project
The City of Inverness Committee today voted in favour of an amendment to cancel the tilting pier in favour of an alternative project to meet the brief of the Gathering Place project.
The remaining projects in the Inverness Arts Programme are to go ahead.
Co-Chair of the ICARTs working group, Provost Helen Carmichael said: “I am naturally very disappointed in the decision today to abandon this keystone piece in the Inverness Arts Programme. The working group was asked to take forward this project and at every stage committee members agreed the progress.
“It is unfortunate that members felt today that they should be swayed by the views of a small vocal number of critics, rather than represent the silent majority and in particular, the support of many stakeholders in the business community and the views of young people who told us they wanted Inverness to be seen as a modern cultural city.”
She went on to say: “This decision will have significant financial consequences, which will mean a loss of some £75,000 already committed to this project. The group will now have to go back to our funding partners, Creative Scotland and HIE, to explore whether or not their funding contribution, which was dependent on the Gathering Place, can be put towards another project.
“As we made clear from the outset, these funds were never able to be used for council services such as filling potholes.”
Co-Chair of the working group, Councillor Thomas Prag added: “This is a real blow for Inverness. We had an opportunity here to give Inverness a unique centrepiece which would have been an asset to the local and regional economy. The working group listened to the feedback from the consultation and reviewed the location, which was popular with many of our stakeholders and partners and would have complemented the existing artwork and architecture at Eden Court as part of a tourist trail of features and attractions.”
The working group will now begin consultation with funding partners on the consequences of the decision today, which will also impact on delivery timeframes and will result in an overall reduced funding pot for any further project. The group will report back to the City of Inverness Committee.