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Inverness park upgrade designs to go on public show

Project director Fiona Hampton
Project director Fiona Hampton outlines when public can view park upgrade designs.

Designs for two major development projects in Inverness are due to go on show to the public following a successful bid by Highland Council to the UK Government Levelling Up Fund.

Under the banner of the Inverness Zero Carbon Cultural Regeneration Project, the bid for nearly £20 million of Levelling Up Fund cash brought together three projects to drive environmental, cultural and economic regeneration in the Highland capital.

The funding includes:

  • £5.2m for the Northern Meeting Park to refurbish the existing grandstand, as well as to create a new pavilion and improved infrastructure for events supported by ground source heating.
  • £7.1m for the Bught Park Stadium for a refurbished grandstand, interactive museum of shinty and improved infrastructure for more large-scale outdoor events supported by ground source heating.

Schemes to be shown publicly on June 21

Design work on the two schemes has started and initial concepts for the Northern Meeting Park and Bught Park will go on show for public consultation at Canal Park between 10am and 3pm on June 21.

They will also go on display on the evening of June 21 at a venue to be confirmed.

The Northern Meeting Park will see the existing B-listed historic grandstand refurbished and a new pavilion, with a large function room, built in the grounds.

Inverness Northern Meeting Park.
Northern Meeting Park in Inverness.

Additional infrastructure will be installed to support a range of outdoor events.

At Bught Park, there will be a refurbishment of the existing stadium and upgrading of the changing room facilities.

Alongside this will be a new pavilion building, which will feature a new museum of shinty as well as new infrastructure to support the hosting of large-scale events.

Bught Park
Bught Park and its shinty pitches occupy the right foreground in this view.

Work on the third project to develop a new net-zero carbon heat solution on Castle Street is progressing through a feasibility phase.

“These initiatives will not only breathe new life into some much-loved local venues, but with integrated renewable energy sources they will deliver economic benefits to local businesses and help to meet the government’s zero-carbon targets,” said project director Fiona Hampton.

She added: “We’re very excited to be able to share our early plans for the Northern Meeting Park and the Bught with the community.

Bught Park to serve as sports hub

“Each of the projects will bring something new to Inverness. Bught Park will provide a hub for sports and leisure facilities for the future, and will develop the home of the Highland’s indigenous sport, shinty.

“The work at the Northern Meeting Park allows us to preserve the wonderful listed building and to redevelop the historic home of the Highland Games.

“With the development of a new pavilion and event infrastructure, we’ll be able to welcome 10,000 people to enjoy the venue once again.”

Ms Hampton continued: “We continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to develop plans and to welcome back events at these popular facilities until the proposed works begin in 2023.

“We would encourage everyone to come along to our public consultation events to give us feedback on our early designs and to have your say in the development of these projects.”

Government invests in Inverness

The £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund sees investment pouring into infrastructure projects throughout the UK.

Funding is being made available to regenerate town centres, upgrade transport, and invest in cultural and heritage assets.

Scotland Office Minister Iain Stewart said: “It’s fantastic to see plans progressing for improvements at three important cultural sites.

“New and refurbished facilities and attractions will expand their use among the community, while the installation of zero carbon systems will ensure they lead the way in sustainability.

“The UK Government is investing almost £20m from the Levelling Up Fund in these plans, which are part of £2bn for initiatives to level up across the whole of Scotland.”

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