Inverness and the wider Highland region is to benefit from a £315 million “City Deal” investment package over 10 years to improve the area’s infrastructure including transport and digital networks, create a Northern Scotland Innovation Hub, and promote tourism and housing.
The City Deal is an agreement between the Scottish Government, UK Government and The Highland Council.
The Scottish Government will invest £135 million, the UK Government £53 million and The Highland Council and regional partners will contribute £127 million.
“Funding will be targeted towards improving the region’s transport and digital connectivity networks, fostering innovation of high growth businesses through the creation of a Northern Scotland Innovation Hub, promoting tourism and delivery of local housing and assisted living schemes,” said the Scottish Government.
The Scottish Government said the City Deal will provide:
- Improvement in the trunk road network including the A9/96 Link Road improvement and Longman interchange
- Investment in Inverness Castle
- Investment to deliver 6,000 new houses over 20 years of which, 1,800 will be affordable homes
- Support the commercialisation of new medical products and technologies at the new multi-disciplinary centre for clinical research and teaching on the University of the Highlands and Islands campus
“Cities and their regions are the engines of our economy,” said Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown.
“Today’s City Deal announcement demonstrates our clear and strong commitment to Inverness and the wider Highland region, which we recognise have a key contribution to make to the future prosperity and economic growth for Scotland.
“That is why the Scottish Government has agreed to invest £135 million as part of a £315 million City Deal for Inverness that will deliver significant long-term benefits for the city, region and Scotland as a whole.
“This deal provides an opportunity to enhance and accelerate the delivery of long-term aspirations held by the Scottish Government and The Highland Council, the impact of which could help increase the population, create thousands of jobs and help to up-skill the local labour market …
“Through the deal, we will identify and explore ways to extend digital coverage, including Superfast Broadband and Mobile 4G connectivity across the region to support the The Highland Council’s ambition to be the most digitally connected rural region in Europe.”