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Food Hall in Inverness Victorian Market is full to bursting as all units are let

By Neil MacPhail

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Bad Girl Bakery in the Victorian Market. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Bad Girl Bakery in the Victorian Market. Picture: James Mackenzie.

More than 130 diners have been packing into the hall each day recently, and with the start of the visitor season just around the corner seats at times are hard to come by.

It was especially busy today and yesterday, with the Easter break likely to be a factor.

However a move to increase seating by 66 to almost 200 is happening in April.

The Food Hall, which opened in September 2022 at a cost of £1.9 million, was at first feared by many to be heading for disaster as the cost of living soared, and units were hard to let despite incentives. But it appears to have weathered that storm and this week tradesmen were busy fitting out the last of the available units.

The total budget for the refurbishment project of the Market Hall in September 2022 was £1,964,339 comprising £1,635,339 of Inverness Common Good Funding; £250,000 of Town Centre Funding; and £79,000 of Place Based Investment Programme funds.

Highland Council has confirmed that the bustling facility is booming to such an extent that all available units have now been let.

A council spokesperson said: “Due to the sheer success over the past 12 months, options have been considered to extend the seating capacity of the venue from 132 currently, to an increased capacity of 198.

“This will involve the Bad Girl Bakery frontage being moved backwards and it is anticipated that this work will be complete by April 4. Furthermore, all available units have now been let.”

The Victorian Market is managed by the council on behalf of the Inverness Common Good Fund apart from the portion of the market between Queensgate and the Market Arcade which is privately owned and managed.

The council’s Inverness leader Ian Brown said: “Inverness Common Good Funding has transformed this once-tired city centre asset into an open bright, thriving and exciting business opportunity.

“I look forward to welcoming remaining tenants into the last few available units.”

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