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£150,000 Whin Park play equipment cash decision set to be deferred by Highland councillors?

By Philip Murray

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Whin Park.
Whin Park.

A decision on £150,000 worth of funding to replace and improve play park equipment in a key Inverness park looks set to be deferred until autumn.

Councillors on the City of Inverness area committee were expected to approve or reject plans to award £150,000 of common good funding for use on a first phase of the Whin Park improvement works when they meet on Monday.

But a report set to go before the committee recommends that a final sign-off on the cash should not now take place until the same body meets in November – as such a delay will allow more time to "prepare a full project plan" and "there will be no detriment to the project" as a result of the wait.

The £150,000, which has been recommended for approval by the Inverness Common Good Fund sub-committee, is being earmarked for the first of three phases of work to the play park.

This would see replacement of larger play equipment that is at the end of its useful life.

Some £250,000 of other funding has also be secured for these phase one improvements – with more still to be confirmed – and work is also under way to "identify and secure funding for phases two and three," said an update report to councillors.

"Once there is certainty around funding, the design and tender process can get under way," it adds.

Phase two, which would commence in the 2024/25 financial year, would include an improved entrance to the play area, additional seating and signage works, among other items; with phase three exploring additional play improvements and other ways to improve the wider park.

The report adds: "All phases will require various funding streams from capital, common good, Scottish Government and other recognised funding streams available.

"Currently the project team are working towards phase one funding with further works to ensure funding is confirmed. The intent of the project is to develop the area to have an inclusive accessible multi play and leisure destination park and working through these phases this will ensure a progressive way forward meeting the ambitions of the project.

"Any other practicable opportunities to seek capital funding will also be taken."

The use of £150,000 of common good cash for phase one will now be decided on November 20.

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