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Construction work starts at historic Northern Meeting Park in Inverness

By Philip Murray

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Artist Impression Northern Meeting Park. Picture: The Highland Council Design consultancy.
Artist Impression Northern Meeting Park. Picture: The Highland Council Design consultancy.

Work to refurbish the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness is now under way as part of a £20 million funding package for three projects in the city.

The refurbishment of the historic park will include the refurbishment and preservation of the existing Victorian grandstand, the construction of a new community pavilion, improved access to city centre green spaces, and better infrastructure for events.

The work, which is being carried out by Morrison Construction on behalf of Highland Council, one of three projects along the River Ness in Inverness being supported with money from the UK government’s Levelling Up Fund.

Some enabling works began at the park prior to Christmas, including the erection of tree protection fences and the site office, but th emain construction began this week. It is expected to be finished by December.

The council explained that the work on the park, and the other projects, will boost the city’s sporting and cultural attractions, preserve key heritage assets, help attract more tourists and assist in achieving net zero carbon targets.

Highland Council’s Inverness city and area leader, Councillor Ian Brown – who is also co-chairman of the Levelling Up Fund programme board, said: “The park is a significantly important part of Inverness and the wider Highlands’ history - known for decades as the place to meet and gather to enjoy sporting activities and events.

"I am proud that the council’s plan, for refurbishment of the grandstand and improved facilities for use by future users of the park, has come to fruition with thanks to the Levelling Up Funding.”

The other projects include the work at Bught Park and a part of the wider Inverness Castle refurbishment programme.

Once complete the Bught Par funding will include modernisation of the changing facilities, enhanced spectator facilities, enhanced hospitality and events infrastructure, and the development of a shinty experience to celebrate the venue’s historic connection with the Highlands’ indigenous sport.

It will also help to provideustainable energy to Bught Park.

The share of money for Inverness Castle will help to fund a renewable energy centre within the site. The castle is currently being refurbished and turned into a museum and major tourist attraction using funding from the Scottish and UK governments as part of the £315m Inverness and Highland Region City Deal. Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the University of the Highlands and Islands are also contributing towards that latter deal.

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