Proposed Highlands regional sports facility to be designed and costed
The project planning is to be taken forward for a facility incorporating indoor cycling, tennis and athletics with an estimated cost of £23.1 million at current prices.
Councillors agreed in March 2015 to progress the development, which could include a significant contribution by SportScotland of £5m.
The outcome of a feasibility study by Porteous Leisure, commissioned through High Life Highland, was presented to council at its meeting yesterday. The study considered the capital costs, potential sources of funding, an estimated revenue budget, potential uses and the interests and requirements of key stakeholders, partners and sponsors.
Chair of the council’s planning development and infrastructure committee, Cllr Audrey Sinclair, welcomed the decision to progress the project.
She said: “This ambitious facility would be a tremendous benefit to people from across the Highlands, meaning that Highland athletes would have the opportunity to train and compete within the Highland area without the need for extensive travel south to other centres. It would also be a major attraction for visitors and tourists to the Highland area.”
Chair of the education, children and adult services committee, Cllr Drew Millar, added: “The facilities would be enjoyed by all, athletes and spectators. The economic benefits for the Highlands would be enormous. I am sure people coming to use such a facility will also come to Skye and other areas of the Highlands.”
Leader of the council, Cllr Margaret Davidson said: “This project really exciting and truly transformational for Inverness and the wider Highlands. It will significantly boost the economy, both in the development stage and following that, in bringing opportunities, visitors and money into the Highlands.
“Of course, all this can only be brought to fruition if we get the City Region Deal and we will be progressing these important discussions with the Scottish and UK Governments.”