An underspend of £100,000 in the Inverness common good fund budget is to be used to support the city’s coronavirus recovery.
The money will be split four ways, with £20,000 used to develop a city market/branding campaign to increase footfall and support local business
A further £10,000 will be used to develop an awareness raising campaign and digital training to tackle hate activity directed at those unable to wear face coverings, while £40,000 will support third sector projects and Covid-19-related activities.
Finally, £30,000 will go to the MFR Mission at Christmas campaign.
The underspend has come from money not spent on civic events and festivals this year.
Spending priorities were shaped through a series of workshops which agreed the need to attract people into the city in a Covid-safe way, support short-term infrastructure projects and projects to help vulnerable and needy residents.
But a number of city councillors said they were uneasy with some aspects, particularly the marketing and branding.
Councillor Ken Gowans said: “This should be part of a strategic marketing plan, throwing £20,000 at it presents risk, as we don’t know where we’re going to be in a few weeks’ time.
“We could be shut down.”
The councillors agreed £30,000 should go the MFR Mission at Christmas and voted to ensure all other plans to spend the funds be referred to the Inverness common good fund sub-committee for due diligence and scrutiny.