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Inverness city deal signed

Words: Roger Milne

Inverness is to benefit from a £315 million city deal to improve infrastructure over the next decade.

The deal is an agreement between the Scottish and UK governments and Highland Council.

The cash will be spent on improvements to transport links, digital connectivity, creating an innovation hub for business, housing and promoting tourism.

The Scottish Government has committed £135 million of investment, the UK Government £53 million, and Highland Council and its regional partners will contribute £127 million.

Key elements of the deal include significant investment in the trunk road network to deliver the strategic A9/96 Link Road improvement and grade separation of the Longman interchange to improve congestion and accessibility to Inverness.

There will also be substantial investment in Inverness Castle to support local tourism and the regional economy as well as the delivery of 6,000 new houses over 20 years, of which 1,800 are to be affordable.

Scottish infrastructure secretary Keith Brown said: “This 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.”

Highland Council leader Margaret Davidson said: “This deal will make a significant contribution to the long-term productivity and economic growth of our area by promoting it as the best digitally connected rural region in Europe.

“Effective broadband and mobile coverage is essential so that businesses can fully exploit commercial opportunities and international markets.”

Image credit | iStock