INVERNESS is set for an economic boom this weekend as the city prepares to stage three major events over the next two days.
In what will be the busiest weekend of the summer so far, at least 10,000 people are expected to descend on Bught Park tomorrow for the Inverness Highland Games.
A similar number are then expected on Sunday, for Inverness Gala during the day before singing superstar Bryan Adams performs his only Scottish gig of the year in the evening.
Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael is among those anticipating a fantastic two days for visitors and local businesses. "I’ve already been getting compliments from visitors to the city about how good it is looking in the sunshine and with all the flowers on display down by the river, and events like this can only enhance the interest in Inverness," she said.
Mike Smith, manager of Inverness Business Improvement District (Bid), said he expected the city to be extremely busy, but was confident everything was in place to help cope with the extra numbers.
"Everybody I know is looking forward to this weekend," he said.
"These are the kind of events that really put the city on the map and past experience tells us that it’s going to be great for businesses with people choosing to spend the whole day in the area, both before and after the ‘main event’."
Richie Paxton, owner of the Westbourne Guest House in Huntly Street, said the weekend was going to push an always busy July "to another level" and Duncan Fraser, chairman of the Inverness Taxis Association, said he was expecting city drivers to be "flat out".
One stage has been designed at Bught Park to accommodate the needs of all three events taking place, allowing for a quick changeover.
- Gates for the Highland Games open at 10.30am for a day full of fun that includes all the usual heavy and athletics events as well as live music, arts and crafts, a Clan Village and even an Inverness Outlanders stall celebrating the best-selling book and TV series. Full details are available at www.invernesshighlandgames.com
- Inverness Gala begins at 10am on Sunday with Shinty Sixes and other events running throughout the day, including the Inverness Wheelbarrow Grand Prix, Highlands’ Strongest Man and Strongest Woman competitions and a Kegs Over the Bar battle.
Several temporary road restrictions will be in place during and after the
- From 6pm today to 7am on Monday; and 10am-11.59pm on Saturday, July 22: Bught Road closed from junction with Bught Avenue to Ness Walk Upper.
- From 11.59pm on Saturday to 7am on Monday and 10am-11.59pm on Saturday, July 22: Bught Avenue closed from junction with Bught Lane to junction with Bught Road.
Temporary one-way restrictions:
- From 11.59pm on Saturday to 7am on Monday; and 10am-11.59pm on Saturday, July 22: Bught Road, from its junction with access to the Highland Archive Centre to junction with Bught Lane.
Temporary manoeuvre restrictions:
- From 6pm-11.59pm on Saturday and same times on Saturday, July 22: Huntly Street into Young Street.
- From 6pm-11.59pm on Saturday and same times on Saturday, July 22: Ness Bridge, left turn into Ness Walk.
Management at the Eastgate Shopping Centre suggested concert-goers use the Falcon car park only, as this remains open until 11pm while the original Eastgate car park closes at 7pm.