Jobs boost for Highlands as work starts on vacant site

CONSTRUCTION work on the vacant Inverness College site has produced a jobs boost for the Highlands.

Demolition of all non-listed buildings at the city centre site starts next month to make way for more than 80 retirement homes after the site was bought by McCarthy & Stone and Highland Council. 

The retirement home provider will build 45 homes on the site, with the Council delivering 40 affordable retirement homes. It’s estimated that 150 jobs will be created as a result of construction starting.

The remaining building on the site – Inverness Royal Academy – will be converted by Wasps Studios into a studio and art gallery.

The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has been working with the Scottish Funding Council and Inverness College to deliver the most appropriate end use for the site that became vacant when the College relocated to a new, facility in 2015.

Anna Tozer, strategic disposals manager at the SFT said, “Our role is to work with public sector bodies to help them sell sites in ways that not only deliver receipts to be reinvested in public services, but also secures the otherwise uncertain future of significant listed buildings. We’ve secured a very positive outcome for this site which ensures much-needed retirement homes will be built.

“Securing the architecturally significant Inverness Royal Academy building for the local community to use and enjoy as an art facility is a real bonus, helping safeguard its future.”