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Highland Council is set to take over Town House car park costing the common good fund £24,000 a year

By Scott Maclennan

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The Town House Car Park on Castle Street. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The Town House Car Park on Castle Street. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Highland Council has determined that it owns the Town House car park and is therefore removing the asset and its estimated £24,000 a year revenue from the Inverness Common Good fund.

It is another blow to the Highlands' most lucrative common good fund after the main tenants of the Town House – Highland Council – decamped to the main HQ after 140 years to save £370,000.

That was decided last December so within the space of 12 months the fund will have lost close to £400,000 annually in ongoing revenue due to decisions taken by the council.

During the investigations around the redevelopment of the whole Inverness Castle site it emerged, according to the council, that the Town House acquired the car park for “statutory purposes.”

That means it is not a common good asset and the register of such assets will be amended so ownership reverts to the local authority but that will have “consequences for Inverness Common Good Fund.

The car park is an income generating asset with an estimated 2023/24 revenue budgeted at around £24,000 however before operational costs are deducted the actual income earned in the first six months of this financial year is £30,000.

Ultimately the “loss of the car park as an income generating asset will reduce the funds received by Inverness Common Good Fund resulting in less money being available for use in connection with Common Good discretionary spend.”

Since the council departed the Town House office space has been put up for rent but there appears to be little interest from the market.

The decision to be heard later today at the Inverness committee does is not open to decision and is there simply for noting by members.

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