Business Focus: Inverness Chamber of Commerce chief believes city centre developments will provide post-Covid confidence boost
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by Stewart Nicol, chief executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce
As the time-served adage goes “you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs”, and I can’t help but reflect this applies to the development works ongoing in the city of Inverness at the moment.
I would strongly assert these significant developments are vital for the city and the wider Highland region and will enhance both as a place to live.
I’m impressed with the close collaboration in evidence across all of the current projects as developers and partners seek to co-ordinate activities and minimise disruption.
The city of Inverness is the heart and economic centre of the whole region and I will always argue for further significant capital investment for appropriate projects. All cities need capital investment in order to regenerate, remodel and reinvent themselves and I would argue such activity evidences vibrancy and success.
In addition, inward investment shows and engenders confidence in the city to the benefit of residents and visitors alike. Such investment was much needed anyway and I would argue is more important than ever as we recover from the impact of the Covid pandemic.
Two of the most important developments currently under way involve Inverness Castle and the city’s Victorian Market. Both are seminal projects and key in attracting more visitors to the city and region to the benefit of the whole Highland economy.
Providing further city centre housing remains a key activity in terms of addressing one of the most pressing challenges facing our region. Such developments, particularly when delivered to the standard of Raining’s Stairs, are critical as we repurpose our city centre and meet the demands of our ever-changing society.
There is much still to be accomplished in our city centre with many nettles still to be grasped as we stay the course. Strong leadership will be required, in addition to focused collaboration as we collectively tackle neglected buildings and the creation of a fit for purpose transport hub, for example. As many of us know, seldom does anything worth achieving in life come easy.