Community groups throughout Inverness are set to benefit from the newly completed £4.5m Treehouse near the Caledonian Canal.
The Treehouse, located between Carse Industrial Estate and the canal, will allow a number of organisations to come together under one roof to provide a space for offices, workshops, volunteering and community groups for those living around South Kessock, Merkinch, Scorguie and Dalneigh areas.
The £4.5m project, which also included towpath and greenspace improvements in and around the area, was made possible by funding partners; Sustrans Scotland’s Places for Everyone programme backed by Transport Scotland, Highland Council, the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)/Nature Scot.
Scottish Canals has recently appointed a volunteer co-ordinator who will help develop a programme of activities with partners to benefit the whole community.
The two storey building also includes some space for commercial tenants to ensure long term financial sustainability for the project.
Tricia Hill, Head of Placemaking at Scottish Canals said:
“Thanks to funding from ERDF/Nature Scot Scottish Canals has been able to appoint a volunteer co-ordinator. The role will allow us to engage with local organisations to help benefit from the new building and outdoor environment.
“As a new energy efficient building, which includes a green roof, the building also contributes to Scottish Canals net zero ambitions.
“Over the coming months we are planning to work with a number of local groups these will include Merckinch Local Nature Reserve, the local canoe club and Sea Scouts. We would be looking at working with all community groups to include nature walks, litter picks, bat and bird watching, bio-diversity sessions and heritage talks. This mix use of commercial and community value ensures the long term sustainability of the building and helps Scottish Canals during challenging financials times.”
Eleanor Macdonald, Grant Manager for Sustrans Scotland said:
“The completion of the Treehouse as part of this project will not only provide a vital community space for those living and working in the surrounding area, it also connects to an improved path which runs along the Caledonian Canal and links with Merkinch Local Nature Reserve where further accessibility improvements have been made.”
Highland Council Leader, Councillor Raymond Bremner said:
“Highland Council has worked in close partnership to secure £850,000 Regeneration Capital Grant Funding for Carse Outdoor Hub in 2018 and an additional £950,000 RCGF in 2020. This £1.8M total investment secured by Highland Council is testament to what can be achieved with local organisations working with Highland Council and the Scottish Government to drive regeneration forward.”
NatureScot’s Structural Funds Projects Communications Officer Jim Jeffrey said:
“It’s fantastic to see the Treehouse opening its doors to the local community, and we’re pleased to have helped support a project which will also bring biodiversity and habitat improvements. This is a great example of how the European Regional Development Fund helps projects to invest in communities. Connecting people and nature, particularly in urban areas, brings so many health and wellbeing benefits and it’s great to see more people enjoying spending time outdoors in green spaces.”
For more details on the Treehouse contact firstname.lastname@example.org