Inverness family centre and sports hub funding withdrawn

highland councilPlans by Highland Council to demolish a community and family centre in Inverness and replace it with an enhanced £10 million facility have been abandoned following widespread opposition from residents and centre users.

Representatives of local organisations met with council officials and elected members last week to consider the bid for £2m to the national regeneration capital fund, for a new centre on the site of the current Merkinch Community Centre.

The existing community centre is popular and well-used by local residents.

After discussion, the council agreed to withdraw the regeneration fund bid, and to examine the feasibility of building the family centre and sports hub elsewhere in Merkinch.

Bill Alexander, the council’s director of care and learning, who chaired the meeting, said the meeting reinforced the aspirations of community organisations across Merkinch for enhanced local facilities.

He added: “It recognised the concerns of users of the community centre about potential disruption to their current activities, and also that there are needs and aspirations within the community that cannot be met by the existing local services. It is important that we encourage further investment in Merkinch, but also important that we reassure users of the community centre, that their current activities will not be disrupted.”

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