Construction work has begun on a new multi-million pound housing development in the heart of Inverness.
The vacant site at 79 Academy Street – once home to Farmfoods – is in the midst of a £5million transformation to create multiple eye-catching affordable homes in the centre of town.
The development, named Wyvern House, will comprise 37 one and two bedroom properties, alongside four small commercial units located on the ground floor.
Contractors Morrison Construction first began ground works in November, with completion expected by summer 2020.
Morrison Construction, Managing Director of Building Highland, Donald Mclachlan, said: ‘‘The beginning of works is an exciting time for any project and we are pleased with the good progress on the foundation works during these early stages.
‘‘We are proud to be delivering this important development in the centre of Inverness that will rejuvenate an unused site, providing affordable homes and business space for the community.
‘‘Our experienced team and trusted supply chain look forward to working together with The Highland Council and the Highland Housing Alliance.’’
Wyvern House is being developed as part of the Highland Council’s on-going efforts to breathe new life into the area, coinciding with the transformation of its neighbours the former Rose Street Foundry.
The works are being funded by Highland Council, Highland Housing Alliance (HHA), the Scottish Government and the Highland City Region Deal.
The Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael said: “It is great news that work is underway to create the affordable homes for rent and the new ground floor retail units and I look forward to seeing the transformation of this prominent city centre site over the coming months. As well as creating quality new homes it is about bringing investment, jobs, people and visitors to this part of the city and restoring a sense of place.”
The site obtained its name “Wyvern House” as a poignant tribute to its historic origins. During the 1950’s and 60’s it was the premises SMT Vauxhall Garage and one of its best-selling models at the time was the Wyvern car.
Gail Matheson, Chief Executive of Highland Housing Alliance added: “We are very excited at this further development on Academy Street. The homes for HHA will be rented out at mid-market rental rates which will hopefully attract young people and families to either stay, or return to the area. The development has benefitted from funding from various sources including Scottish Government and City Region Deal. Our website will provide ongoing updates.”