Further support for Inverness Maritime Heritage Trail

5th December 2019

Inverness Harbour Trust are delighted to have received further support from Sustrans Scotland for the next stage in the development of the Inverness Maritime Heritage Trail.  Funding has been allocated under the Places for Everyone scheme.  The aim of Places for Everyone is to create safe, attractive, healthier places by increasing the number of trips made by walking, cycling and wheeling for everyday journeys.  The scheme is funded by the Scottish Government through Transport Scotland and is administered by Sustrans Scotland. Places for Everyone contributes to the Scottish Government’s aim for a healthier, environmentally sustainable nation with a strong economy and communities, as laid out in the National Performance Framework.

Funding has been secured to take forward the proposals developed last year by Inverness Harbour Trust, Sustrans Scotland and Highland Council to create a Maritime Heritage Trail that would improve connectivity of the Maritime quarter of Inverness with the city centre.  In addition, the aim is to improve the cycling and pedestrian experience along this section of Shore Street, Cromwell Road and Longman Drive.  This also forms part of the National Cycle Network Route 1 (Land’s End to John O’ Groats) and is popular with cycle to work commuters from the north and in particular The Black Isle. 

“We are honoured to receive further support from Sustrans Scotland to develop this exciting project which will be to the benefit of not only Inverness but the wider Highland Region.” Port Chief Executive Sinclair Browne said. The support will go toward finalising the plans and build upon the work already undertaken as part of Phase 1. 

Sinclair Browne added, “There will be a further opportunity for stakeholders to comment once we have developed the proposals in further detail, similar to the public event held earlier this year in the Victorian Market.” 

Landscape architects TGP, has been retained to develop their initial proposals and both Civic Engineers and Wallace Stone have been brought on board to advise on the engineering aspects of the project. 

It is likely that public consultation will take place in the first quarter of 2020.  Along with the heritage trail proposal, the Port Authority also wants to see more development at Harbour Gait, the extensive area of foreshore which they own out the Kessock Bridge.  This will bring added vibrancy to the Maritime Quarter.  Proposals are still at the embryonic stage; however, an outline land use plan has been submitted to Highland Council as part of the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan process.  Further discussions are anticipated with Highland Council to develop these proposals as well as a comprehensive stakeholder engagement programme. 

The Port Authority also wants to see an increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Inverness. The Port Authority is targeting specifically smaller expedition-sized cruise ships.

“It’s just about increasing the awareness of the Port as well as looking to improve environment and getting people to engage with the cities Maritime Heritage whether this is through learning or by physical activity whatever your age.” Concluded Sinclair Browne.

Simon Strain, Infrastructure Manager for Sustrans Scotland said, “The Port of Inverness is part of the city’s industrial heritage and a gateway to the city and the Highlands as a whole. We are pleased to be involved in a project which encourages people to see a new side to the city or to go on to explore Scotland through the National Cycle Network.

“We look forward to seeing the detailed proposals from Inverness Harbour Trust and hearing feedback from local residents and visitors.”