Highland Council has announced a funding shortfall for the controversial My Ness river art project in Inverness, sparking fury among some city councillors.
Inverness councillors will be told at their regular meeting next Thursday that additional work, costing £32,644, is necessary to enhance disability access to the project on the banks of the river Ness.
This comes after the councillors agreed at a special meeting in August that they would support the commitment to the project with a number of conditions, including no further commitment of public funds and that full accessibility should be built into the plans.
Council officers say they will now explore options with partners to fund the additional work.
Ness-side councillor Ron MacWilliam, a long time critic of the My Ness scheme’s management and design, said: “The Inverness committee made a firm decision to not commit any further funds to this pointless project less three months ago.
“The decision of committee must be respected, which means the £32,000 shortfall will have to be funded from private subscription. There is no other way.”
Inverness South councillor Ken Gowans, also a critic of the scheme, said: “If they attempt to raid the Inverness Common Good Fund all over again they will have lost all legitimacy and the public will be further incensed.”
Council officers say the changes mean that remaining individual projects of the public art trail and children’s water feature can no longer be progressed.