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Highland Council welcomes Inverness Campus Progress

03 June 2013

Members of The Highland Council’s City of Inverness Area Committee have welcomed and endorsed the role of the Council in working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) at the new Inverness Campus, in the East of the City.

The Inverness Campus is being hailed as a once in a generation opportunity for the region and will provide world class facilities for business, research and education organisations to work together.

City Leader, Councillor Ian Brown said: “We welcome the progress that is being made on the Inverness Campus site. The project fits well with the Council’s Programme aim of developing our urban centres, and supporting the creation of quality jobs in the Highlands. It will provide exciting opportunities for us all living, working, studying, researching and enjoying recreation in Inverness.”
Building on the success of adjacent Life Science facilities, Inverness Campus is being developed by HIE to provide high quality provision capable of attracting inward investment to Scotland.

Karen Thomson, HIE’s Inverness Campus Team Manager gave a presentation to the City of Inverness Area Committee on the project works. She said: “Inverness has a significant concentration of people researching and working in the commercial medical sector. Working with the Council and others we want to build on that to provide the facilities and environment which will attract global businesses.

“The Highlands and Islands offers tremendous investment opportunities. Partnership working is already happening, HIE and The Highland Council are in London as soon as next week at an event to promote our area as an investment location. This partnership approach, involving private businesses, the public sector and the community is vital to growth.”

Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry added: “Inverness Campus is an international exemplar of cross-agency working and is exactly what Inverness should be on the world map. The high quality of works that have already taken place on the site are astounding. Inverness Campus will be somewhere that is very special and discussions are at an early stage regarding the opportunity for a Science Academy on site that could tie in learning Primary schools through to Further and Higher Education.”

A report to Council members stated that: “The Campus will allow a number of key business, research and education organisations to work together. Construction of the first phase, comprising 89 acres of serviced land (with planning consent for 55,000 sq m of development) is due for completion in the summer of 2013.  The Campus aims to provide a range of facilities for the use of the local community. These will include a mix of recreational and sports amenities.”

Members were informed that:

  • The Council’s contribution towards the development of phase one is in the provision of improved road access, including road widening at key access points off the A9. The improvement of additional sections of the B9006 Culloden Road and the installation of improved public transport access into the Campus.
  • Part of the site (5.46 hectares)  has  been  designated  by  the  Scottish  Government  as  a  Life Sciences Enterprise Area, and this will attract further Council assistance in the form of a Simplified Planning Protocol.
  • Rates relief amounting to a maximum of £55,000 per annum, up to 2017 is also available, along with advice on skills from Skills Development Scotland and international marketing support from Scottish Development International.

The report added that:

  • Work is about to commence on the site of the new £50M 20,000 sq m Inverness College UHI building.
  • HIE is actively marketing the Inverness Campus, and there are a total of 15 plots available for sale in phase one of the development.
  • The Council, as part of its Scottish Cities Alliance activities, is working closely with the Campus management to bring the development to a wider national and international developer/investor market.

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