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Ness Islands art project is approved

By Jamie Hall

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Ness art
Ness art

A PIECE of artwork doubling up as a children’s water play area is set to go ahead after planning permission was granted.

The £40,000 installation at Ness Islands will consist of patterned stepping stones made of granite which sit in a stainless steel channel fed by water from the river.

Some of the stones will be fitted with moveable sluice gates to allow children to control the flow of water themselves.

The development forms one part of the River Ness Public Art Project, which is worth a total of £727,000.

Throughout the design of the project, local schoolchildren were consulted on what they would like to see installed, while students from Inverness College UHI were also involved.

Highland Council’s city centre manager David Haas welcomed the news that the project had been given the green light and believes it will showcase the best of Inverness to locals and visitors alike.

“It’s further investment in the city and it’s going to be a very special facility for families to enjoy,” he said.

“It’s another reason for people to visit our wonderful islands.

“It will enable more people to spend more time on the islands and appreciate a beautiful part of the city.

“We are very pleased with the work that has been produced.”

The installation is close to the proposed site of My Ness, for which a planning application has now been submitted.

Described as a “gathering place”, the £240,000 feature would form the centrepiece of the public art project.

It consists of a partial, circular amphitheatre with elements on both banks in order to “frame” the river, and also contains a walkway, seating area and viewing point.

It was designed in collaboration with anglers, who use the area on a regular basis.

Mr Haas believes the project will allow people to connect with their surroundings.

“The most important thing is that all the projects raise the profile of our city and bring the community closer to everything the area has to offer,” he said.

“It will make people realise what a wonderful place we live in.”

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