A BOLD vision of how a key city centre site could be developed has been drawn up by an Inverness firm of architects.
HRI|Munro Architecture hopes to spark public debate following last week’s announcement that the Royal Mail is relocating from Strothers Lane to a new £6.6 million centre in Seafield Road.
The firm’s director Andrew Bruce believes it offers a rare opportunity for a radical remodelling and urban development project.
His concept plan includes an integrated transport hub with a relocated bus station, an urban square with high quality shops and cafes, student housing and possible conversion of the city library to an art gallery with the library relocated to an enlarged Spectrum Centre.
"Our offices on Academy Street are within sight of the Royal Mail site and it’s frustrating that this whole part of the city centre could be so much better than it is," Mr Bruce said.
"We see the relocation of the Royal Mail facilities as the key impetus to drive forward a project that has been talked about for years."
Mr Bruce envisaged Strothers Lane becoming a two-way access route only serving a new travel centre.
He hoped Inverness Business Improvement District (Bid) could lead the process by forming a consortium to seek funding to develop a comprehensive approach to the area, involving Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the bus companies and commercial partners.
Bid manager Mike Smith said a task force, led by Highland Council and including other public and private organisations, should be set up. "There needs to be a swift move to get it off the ground," he said.