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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

A report providing an update on projects across the Highlands receiving support from the Inverness Highland City Region Deal was discussed earlier today during The Highland Council’s Economy and Infrastructure Committee. Members were pleased to note that although the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent national lockdown earlier in the year caused work on projects to be suspended, sites are now back up and running. 

All city deal projects have had to adapt to the current Covid environment, often by temporarily changing the way they work.  

The projects affected include the building of affordable homes across the Highlands and the enabling works to transform Inverness Castle into a top visitor attraction. During the committee it was confirmed that sites are now back up and running and adhering to all Covid health and safety rules.

Other highlights of progress made included the completion of the A9/A96 Smithton Interchange consultation, the restart of the Fit Home build programme and the installation of the eye-catching hoardings around Inverness Castle.

Chair of the Committee, Cllr Trish Robertson said: “It is good news that work on sites has resumed  as not only does it provide local employment but it also results in an increase in spend in areas and during these economic challenging times, this is very welcomed.

“While we cannot currently make the Newton Room facilities available to schools, a good example of how every effort is being made to adapt to the situation is that the special education kits and outdoor learning resources are being provided to schools until pupils can attend, which we hope will be by next term.

The Leader of the Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson added: “I am very pleased that we are moving forward again and have been very heartened by the excellent efforts of staff to get us there.  The castle project is doing particularly well, and I know that Transport Scotland is working closely with us on the 2 main roads projects and how we are adapting them to a new post covid world. I am also delighted we are finally making some progress of the broadband project and seeing how that can help us deliver our ambitions of a fibre to premises model for all of Highland. Where we may not be able to deliver a full project, we are negotiating with both governments to see if we can divert spend to other areas or to expand current projects. 

“Our new officer in post, Felix McGunnigle is doing well and keeping us well appraised of developments.” 

MIL OSI United Kingdom