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Highland Council Develops Bids For Levelling Up Fund

27th May 2021

The Council is continuing to work at pace to submit bids into the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund and Community Renewal Fund.

The Highlands can submit one transport bid and one bid for each Westminster constituency. At the Council meeting on 13 May it was agreed that the transport bid would relate to the North Coast 500 route, tied in with an expansion of Electric Vehicle Charging Points and improvements to tourism related infrastructure.

The bid for the Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Constituency will focus on Wick as a centre for regeneration, and encompass various interlinked projects such as infrastructure works on the Wick Harbour outer seawall which will hopefully attract further investment to the port, physical regeneration of the town centre and other active travel and environmental improvement projects.

The bid for the Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Constituency will be centred on Inverness Castle, Northern Meeting Park and Bught Park facilities and a compelling case can be made for these three significant venues in the City, which taken together could lead to significant improvements to attract increased visitor numbers, improve facilities that are in great need of investment. It is also proposed to identify whether smaller environmental regeneration projects relating to Aviemore and Nairn Links can be incorporated into the overall bid submission package.

The bid for the Ross, Skye and Lochaber Constituency is intended to focus on a comprehensive regeneration scheme to develop the gateways to the Outdoor Capital of the UK and Eilean a’ Cheo. This is intended to comprise investment in physical regeneration of cultural and heritage assets such as the Nevis Centre and the Ben Nevis Visitor Centre as well as the important transport related assets of Portree Harbour (as part of the wider Portree regeneration schemes) and potentially the Corpach Marina.

Speaking on the progress being made, Cllr Margaret Davidson, Leader of The Highland Council said: "These are ambitious and exciting projects and the Council is working extremely hard to develop these bids within a very tight timescale. I have had very positive discussions with our MPs over the last few days and they have been most supportive, not just over our proposed bids, but also they share our very real concerns over the metrics that the Government used to determine our ranking for these funds.

“I have raised these concerns directly with UK Government ministers and I am hopeful that these concerns have been taken onboard."

 

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