Media Release: Highland Council approves plans for Inverness Campus

THE Highland Council conditionally approved plans by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to develop phase one of the Inverness Campus at Beechwood, East Inverness, today (25 May 2010).

Work will soon be underway to develop infrastructure for the multi-stakeholder campus’ key stakeholders. The plan also includes a social enterprise-run hotel as well as sports and recreational facilities for the local community.

HIE will invest £25m in the development over the next five years.

Ruaraidh MacNeil, project director of Inverness Campus, said: “Inverness Campus will be one of the most important developments in the Highlands and Islands during the next 30 years and we are delighted to have the support of The Highland Council.

“We will now get to work developing a world-class campus that brings the region’s education, business and community together. The campus will give young people a real opportunity to train for high value jobs in the region. It will also support the growing life sciences cluster and encourage education, business and research institutions to work collaboratively.

“This multi-stakeholder campus will be recognised around the world as a model of collaboration. We look forward to working with the community to develop a site which blends with the landscape and benefits all.”

Says a spokesperson: “A 2009 study by consultants Congentsi estimates Inverness Campus could attract investment of around £300 million, generating £38 million for the Highlands and Islands economy and supporting 6,000 jobs by 2030.”

Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE’s Inverness Campus project director, said: “We strongly believe that this development is vital to the future prosperity of the Highlands and Islands. Not only will it be a next-generation facility for students, but it will also attract businesses to an excellent research hub, particularly in the fast-growing life sciences sector.

“The Inverness Campus will give the next generation of 18 to 25 year-olds a real reason to stay in the area. It will also attract students who are keen to take advantage of the unrivalled lifestyle that the Highlands and Islands has to offer.”

A planning application for the entire HIE landholding at Beechwood remains current. It includes further facilities for education and a business incubation hub.

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Contact: Caroline Rham
Phone: 07721 761504