THE Inverness Townscape Heritage Project (ITHP) has released a video to mark the end of the £1.75 million regeneration of the town’s Academy Street.
Officially coming to an end on March 31, the initiative aimed to support the regeneration and preservation of the street’s heritage, as well as delivering employability and events programmes.
The project was supported by funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) via the Inverness City Heritage Trust (ICHT), and The Highland Council.
Project highlights included:
- The restoration of Rose Street Foundry. An Inverness Townscape Heritage Project grant of over £1 million was a significant contribution towards the total cost of renovations, which included the reinstatement of historic mosaics.
- Restoration of Blackfriars following a £1.36 million investment (£422,606 from ITHP) that transformed the venue into a high-quality pub with boutique letting rooms
- Restoration of decorative stonework to the Academy Street entrance of Inverness Victorian Market
- Grant funding was given towards the cost of repairs to 21-25 Academy Street
- The Shopfront Scheme provided grants to enable businesses to reinstate traditional signage
In addition to funding for buildings, a total of 2,041 people attended 67 talks and events held by ITHP. These included traditional building skills courses and talks, heritage talks and community engagement events.
Highland councillor Jimmy Gray, chair of the Inverness Townscape Heritage Project, said, “I regret that we’ve come to the end of the Inverness Townscape Heritage Project but I am pleased that the project has delivered such a positive impact on Academy Street and beyond.
“Walking down Academy Street now, it’s great to see so many wonderful buildings, such as the Rose Street Foundry and Blackfriars, brought back to life. The programme of talks and events shared some wonderful stories from Inverness’ past – from Burnetts’ Bakery to sessions on architecture, geology, transport and traditional music. Informative session on traditional building maintenance and specialist skills will also help owners and occupiers look after their buildings for years to come.
“Importantly, the project also included an Employability Programme to provide support to the unemployed to help them get into work, as well as providing training for apprentices and creating jobs.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the project for helping us return a sense of heritage and pride to Academy Street. We would have liked to mark the end of the project with a celebration in person, but I hope this video makes viewers excited to return to Academy Street and I wish all of its businesses the very best as they begin to reopen.”
The end of project video can be viewed here.