Home   News   Article

Ambitious plans revealed to replace dilapidated seafront boardwalk in Inverness

By Val Sweeney

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
The boardwalk at Merkinch Local Nature Reserve.
The boardwalk at Merkinch Local Nature Reserve.

An ambitious £523,000 project to replace a dilapidated seafront boardwalk in Inverness will go out to public consultation next month.

The aim is to replace the deteriorating walkway at Merkinch Local Nature Reserve (MLNR) with a new all-abilities boardwalk and active travel route.

It also involves upgrading the adjacent path to form a fully accessible route between the Carnac Crescent entrance to the reserve and the main sea wall path near the railway crossing.

The wooden walkway was temporarily closed last year due to safety concerns but reopened following emergency repairs.

A report to be presented to today’s Inverness city committee reveals plans to replace it and also asks members to consider a request for £12,156 from the Highland Coastal Communities Fund.

The application for funding states: "The MLNR currently represents the only quality access to the coastal waterside in Inverness and is valuable to the entire city as an area for conservation and recreation.

"It has also been identified that the paths through the reserve represent the only fully off-road access into the residential area of South Kessock, which is severed from the city by the railway and is the eighth most deprived community in Scotland.

"As well as rejuvenating the access provision within the reserve, the proposal will form half of the new active travel route connecting South Kessock with Merkinch and the city beyond."

It points out that Scottish Canals is due to start railway crossing and canal path improvements this summer which will improve links between the nature reserve, Caledonian Canal and the wider Inverness paths network.

The application continues: "It will facilitate a much wider and inclusive access to these quality green spaces, at a time when Covid-19 has demonstrated our need to reconnect with nature."

Sustrans would offer up to 70 per cent match funding – £366,697 – for construction with £100,000 coming from Highland Council’s green infrastructure budget.

The contribution from the Highland Coastal Communities Fund would have potential to draw down an additional £28,000 from Sustrans.

An application was also submitted last month for £22,500 from the Inverness Common Good Fund.

A planning application is expected to be submitted following public consultation in early June.

The estimated start date of the project is November.

Related story: Boardwalk in local nature reserve saved for now

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More