Highlands & Islands

Work on Inverness riverside art project suspended

The Gathering Place Image copyright Handout
Image caption Highland councillors voted to reject a previous project, The Gathering Place, in 2016

Councillors are to hold a special meeting to discuss the future of a planned riverside artwork.

Curving walls have been proposed for opposite banks of the River Ness in Inverness.

The project, a replacement for a controversial plan for a £300,000 giant see-saw-like installation, is opposed by a local campaign.

Highland Council said construction work had been suspended until 20 August to allow for further debate.

Image copyright The River Ness Public Art Project
Image caption My Ness was approved by council planners under delegated powers

The local authority's City of Inverness committee will hold the meeting in public.

Called My Ness, the new design was approved by officials under delegated powers and emerged following a councillors' vote in July 2016 not to proceed with the see-saw-like The Gathering Place.

Concerns were raised by some councillors and members of the public about the safety of the original design, a pier which would have gently tilted up and down.

Opponents of the new design believe it will spoil the landscape of the riverside.

The riverside project is funded by £305,000 from Creative Scotland, £250,000 from the City of Inverness Common Good Fund, £66,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise and £106,000 from Highland Council.

It is managed by the Inverness City Arts Working Group on the council's behalf.

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