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Five developments in Inverness that should finally be finished in 2022

Construction on the new 175-bed hotel is underway, with completion expected around July.
Construction on the new 175-bed hotel is underway, with completion expected around July.

Anyone living or working near Inverness city centre has seen first hand the many developments taking shape.

Contractors have been working on a series of high-profile developments over the last 18 months after incurring lengthy delays due to the pandemic.

Union Street, Glebe Street and Castle Street are just some of the sites, as developers progress plans to bring more retail and housing opportunities to the city centre.

But the end is in sight – with these five key developments all due to be finished this year

One of Inverness’s oldest buildings was torn down to make way for the new four-storey housing and retail development. Picture: Sandy McCook

53 Castle Street

Containing eight flats and a retail unit on the ground floor, Highland Housing Alliance’s Castle Street development is due to be finished in July.

The four-storey property, which was formerly a bridal shop, was one of the city’s oldest buildings but over time had fallen into disrepair.

In an effort to retain some of its original charm, some of the stonework will be incorporated into the facade of the revamped building, and this work is due to begin in the coming weeks.

A spokeswoman for HHA said: “Works are now well under way at our Castle Street development, which on completion, will deliver high-quality city-centre homes in Inverness.

“We have worked carefully to sensitively restore the listed building, and we are pleased to have almost completed the front of the build.

“In the new year, we will start to rebuild the façade using the original stonework which will ensure that the development is in keeping with the surrounding historic streetscape.

“Given its location, the Castle Street development has been a challenging build but working closely with our contractor, we are on track to meet our July 2022 completion date.”

The Marriott Hotel, on the banks of the River Ness, is beginning to take shape.

Mariott Hotel, Glebe Street

Work is also gathering pace on the city’s controversial Marriot Hotel development, located on the banks of the Ness.

Construction on the multi-million pound development, by Dutch developer Vastint Hospitality, has been under way since March following more than a year of delays.

Cladding started going up around hotel late last year.

Upon completion – expected in the summer – the main hotel block, facing Friars Bridge, will feature 151 rooms with the remaining 24 guests being housed in a separate three-storey block on the grounds.

The ground floor of the main block will house a bar and dining area as well as a meeting space, gym, a media room and check in area.

The ground floor of the main block will house a bar and dining area as well as a meeting space, gym, a media room and check in area.

The hotel is being built on land at Glebe Street, previously home to the city’s swimming pool, that has lain dormant for more than 20 years.

Developers Vastint Hospitality first lodged plans for the hotel in 2018, however, Highland Council planners threw out the application describing the designs as “hideous” and “absolute bogging”. However it was later approved.

Victorian Market
Inverness Victorian Market is being transformed to make way for 15 new retail units. Picture: Sandy McCook.

Inverness Victorian Market

Work to give Inverness Victorian Market a new lease of life is also nearing completion.

The £1.6million re-development project began last January, with the market hall and former fish hall to be transformed to make way for 15 new retail units.

Inverness firm WGC Scotland expect the work on the B-listed building to be finished in the first half of 2022.

As well as shopping options, there will be a mezzanine floor with a central seating and eating area, providing views of the market’s roof.

Highland Council hope the project will attract local independent food and drink businesses to the heart of Inverness city centre.

However the venture has been highly controversial, as 14 market traders were displaced to make way for the revamp.

Chairwoman of the Victorian Market stakeholder group, Councillor Isabelle Mackenzie said there has already been interest in the space.

“This exciting new development is proceeding as planned,” she said.

“We have been in discussion with a variety of local businesses, who are keen to be part of this beloved city centre landmark.

“Having come through the difficulties of the last couple years, its encouraging to see so many local businesses confident to be at the heart of the rejuvenation of our city centre.

“We very much look forward to working in collaboration with them, to make the Market Hall a success that Inverness will be proud of.”

Network Rail will begin construction work on the two-platform station at Inverness Airport this year.

Inverness Airport rail station

Construction of the long-awaited £14millon railway station at Inverness Airport will not only begin this year, but also finish.

Clearance works have been going on since October to create embankments in preparation for the new Dalcross station.

Next up will be work on the new platforms, including building the concrete lift shafts and laying the footbridge foundations.

The two-platform station, on the Aberdeen-Inverness line, will have step-free access, via a footbridge with lifts. Work also includes creation of a passing-loop and the closure of Petty Level crossing.

A 64-space car park will also be created, featuring 10 electric charging facilities, four disabled spaces and cycle parking.

Works are scheduled for completion in December.

David Millar, project manager for Network Rail, said the station will improve connectivity to the Highland capital.

He said: “2022 promises to be an exciting and busy year for this project. On completion, the new station will enhance the local area and improve connectivity for nearby residents and the wider Inverness area by providing a new sustainable transport interchange.”

Artist impression of the Union Street development in Inverness.

Union Street

The final key project expected to finish in autumn, is the redevelopment of a flagship store in Inverness city centre.

The former Arnotts store from 7-17 Union Street is undergoing a major facelift to provide additional retail units and accommodation.

The development, masterminded by Swilken Estates, was approved in 2020 and is the biggest to be undertaken in the city centre since the extension of the Eastgate Centre.

Six commercial units are being created on the ground floor of the property, previously home to House of Fraser.

Four units will be on Union Street with the remaining two outlets accessible via a new entrance on Baron Taylor Street.

Upstairs, there will be 53 apartments available for long-term rental through Highland Council and Highland Housing Alliance.

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