Highlands & Islands

Funding sought for Scotland's Housing Expo

Scotland's Housing Expo properties
Image caption The expo showcased innovation and energy efficient housing

Councillors are to be asked to agree to give Scotland's Housing Expo a £198,000.

Highland Council said this money formed part of £266,000 it has spent over three years on the homes site in Inverness.

The properties were opened to the public during August 2010 before being offered for sale.

Figures released by the local authority in January showed the project made an operating loss of £198,000.

Almost £651,000 was spent on bringing the expo to fruition but ticket sales amounted to just £137,000.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise provided £70,000 in funding.

Welcome boost

The figures published earlier this year also showed the expo led to £457,000 being spent in the local economy.

The organisation and running of the project supported 28 full-time jobs with related earnings income of £543,000.

Construction activity on the site supported 240 full-time jobs, 14 apprenticeships and generated £5.8m in associated direct income and spend during the building phase, the figures said.

Highland Council said in January that the building work had been a welcome boost during difficult times in the construction trade.

The local authority's planning, environment and development committee on Wednesday will be asked to approve the £198,000.

Officers have said the funds could come from the planning and development service budget through projected underspends elsewhere in the budget.

More than 30,000 people visited the site, but visitors included children who were allowed in for free and season ticket holders who paid a one-off fee.

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