Canopies removed from a north retail park after a shopper was injured by falling glass could be replaced within months.
Gary Mitchell, 57, from Ardersier, was standing talking to friends outside New Look at Inverness Centre Retail Park in November 2017 when the glass panels above “exploded” and came down on top of him, knocking him to the ground and cutting his face.
The incident sparked an investigation of the park’s main canopies by owners British Land and all panes were removed as a precautionary measure.
Now, two years on,it is understood work has been ongoing to replace the glass panels early in the New Year.
A source close to the company said engineers had been measuring it out and looking at replacing it with new safer materials following increasing concerns the area remained uncovered from the elements.
Inverness Councillor Duncan Macpherson said: “Two years ago the whole retail park was closed for almost a week and they were desperately panicking what was happening. It was only 40 days to go until Christmas and it was all closed and as a precaution they took off all the sheets of glass to make the place safe.
“It’s designed to be an area people can walk and shelter from the elements. I welcome this news as it’s something that’s needed. It will be good to see shatter proof glass or Perspex in place.”
The news comes as several new retailers are also understood to be lined up to fill two of the three vacant units at the city’s busy site.
A spokeswoman for British Land said they are “still reviewing options and no decision has yet been made” regarding the panels and were unable to provide comment on the vacant units.
Meanwhile, a Highland Council spokeswoman said: “Building owners were reminded that the primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of members of the public in and around their buildings lies with them.
“The council advises that the responsibility of public safety lies with all building owners to inspect their premises whether they are commercial, retail, business, public or privately owned.”