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INVERNESS BID: Decision day ahead for Academy Street

By Lorraine Bremner McBride

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An artist impression of the planned Academy Street.
An artist impression of the planned Academy Street.

There are just 15 working days until we know what the future holds for Academy Street and by default the city centre and indeed beyond.

Making sure the right decision is taken is essential given the potential implications for so many, meaning perhaps allocating a little more time in the short term in order to ultimately progress matters better in the longer term would be a sensible measure to take at present – not least as we all want what is best for our businesses, locals and visitors alike.

Most of us strongly agree too that an aesthetic improvement of the area is highly desirable but as it stands currently, the vast majority of the 175 city centre businesses who responded to our recent BID surveys, reported that they don’t consider that their views and needs have been properly heard or regarded.

This is a sentiment which may resonate with those members of the public who have raised similar as well as other points on social media recently.

Change, we contend, need not be difficult when those who might be affected by a decision feel fully and fairly part of the process or to put it another way when change feels done with, and not to, people.

In general terms too, it is worth remembering that it can be the case when only wholly supportive views are encouraged or embraced, there is a risk that a ‘group think’ or an echo chamber dynamic is created which in turn, can sometimes lead to much poorer outcomes overall. Businesses and other like-minded stakeholders are not the problem and, if given the opportunity, could be very much part of the solution.

Irrespective, Inverness BID (and as we have strongly campaigned for throughout) determines that the views of all our businesses matter and should be heard and so we will be hosting an event in respect of these proposals: Our Voice, Your Future at Eden Court on Monday, August 14, 1pm-3pm. All city centre businesses who would like to attend are invited to contact: info@invernessbid.co.uk

Lorraine Bremner McBride is Inverness BID director.

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