Community groups in Inverness are being urged to get on board with a new outdoor hub which has opened on the Caledonian Canal.
The Treehouse, situated between the Carse industrial estate and the canal, has been several years in development.
It aims to provide a social, training and activity base for people primarily in South Kessock, Merkinch, Scorguie and Dalneigh.
The building was completed last year for lead partner Scottish Canals which is now developing a programme of activities and seeking users.
What is the Treehouse?
A drop-in session was held to allow residents and organisations to look around and discover more about the project.
The two-storey building has office accommodation, a training area, a large community meeting space and a briefing room.
The £3.46 million first phase of the project also includes towpath, community access and green space improvements.
The first commercial occupants are expected to move in over the next few months and community activities will begin in the summer.
The Treehouse’s position will enable new access routes between the industrial estate and Merkinch to the canal basin at Muirtown and the Merkinch Local Nature Reserve.
It will support a number of local outdoor-based organisations and projects to come together under one roof and improve access to green space.
This will involve schools, volunteering and employability activity and health-focused green space work.
Scottish Canals interim CEO Richard Millar said community consultations were held to find out what people needed locally.
“We found a real interest in engaging with the Muirtown Basin and an interest in a quality facility the community could use as hub.
Lot of interest in new building
“We are starting to see this space becoming something for the community, very much driven by their own vision of what they want at this location.
“Inverness has got an amazing asset here. There is lots of water space at Muirtown and we want to look at how we make all this work so that the vibrancy of the water, the boats, the access onto the water, all work together.”
Volunteer coordinator Rebekah Stevenson was appointed in January and is working with community groups and schools on the Treehouse’s future use.
She said there is already a lot of interest in the building which is expected to grow due to further engagement and word-of-mouth recommendations.
Jim Jeffrey, structural funds communications lead at NatureScot, said: “Our hopes are that the building will help to connect people with nature and enhance the green spaces around this area.
“The canal is an asset right in the heart of Inverness and a great facility like this should help get people more interested in nature.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Treehouse can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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