Scottish Canals is working with a range of partners to create a new space to provide an employment, community and outdoor waterside hub for Inverness.
The project, which will be delivered in two phases, involves the construction of two connected new buildings; The Treehouse and The Boathouse.
Phase 1 will see the creation of the Treehouse, which will be a purpose-built flexible development offering space for offices, workshops, social enterprises and community meeting space. This phase will also include associated carparking, towpath, community access and greenspace improvements.
Phase 2 of the project will deliver a commercial and customer space known as The Boathouse. This building will be home to a canalside café, as well as new facilities for our boating customers and storage space for local water-based clubs.
The project will deliver low carbon buildings with innovative access, biodiversity and SUDS improvements to ensure the project is truly exemplary in terms of placemaking and regeneration impact.
This major regeneration project will improve and reinforce physical access for both Merkinch and South Kessock residents and the wider community, leading to the new facility and the canal through towpath and footpath improvements together with a number of new or enhanced access points.
With a construction value of approximately £3.46m, Phase 1 will see the delivery of The Treehouse building, working with our partners at Scottish Government (Regional Capital Grant Fund), Highland Council (Inverness Common Good Fund and Vacant Derelict Land Fund), NatureScot (Green Infrastructure Fund), Sustrans (Places for Everyone).
Construction works for Phase 1 Treehouse commenced in Spring 2021 and will be complete in Summer 2022. Disruptions to towpaths and access are advertised locally and updated here.
Update 31 March 2022
Works on the towpath, ramp and wider access areas continue with great progress during the fantastic weather over the past few weeks, and are moving swiftly towards the reopening date of 9th May.
The Treehouse building works are also very well underway with the exterior cladding nearing completion and the interior works moving towards decorative finishing, painting and the start of the building commissioning.
External works around the building are due to start through April ahead of the building completion in June.
Update 17th December 2021
The towpath at Carse Hub, Inverness will remain closed through the holiday period and is forecast to reopen before the end of February 2022
Update 17th November 2021
Towpath on the east side of Muirtown Basin will remain closed until February 2022.
This is required to allow the contractor safe access for both the towpath upgrade works but also the works affecting the rail crossing.
The duration for the activity has extended as a consequence of uncertainty with both the availability of the materials required to complete the works, but also the impacts of constraints on delivery and transportation that is currently affecting the UK.
Update 27th July 2021
Due to a number of unforeseen issues, work on the Treehouse, a new community, employment and outdoor waterside hub at Muirtown, will begin work slightly later than expected on the 2nd August 2021. This means there will been a delay in the planned temporary closure of nearby pedestrians paths as follows:
- The towpath on the east (Merkinch) side of Muirtown Basin will be closed from 2nd August 2021 till 19th December 2021
- The sea wall path link between the nature reserve and railway crossing/canal will be closed from 2nd August 2021 till 10th September 2021
A temporary diversion will be in place between Clachnaharry Lock and the railway crossing/sea wall path link to the nature reserve which will open on 10th September. The towpath on the west side of Muirtown Basin will remain open throughout – please see the temporary diversions below.
Update 24th May 2021
Scottish Canals will be holding a public meeting on the Treehouse project on Thursday 3rd June 2021 at 7pm via Microsoft Teams.
The online public meeting will be a chance to come along and hear from Scottish Canals, Robertson Construction and our partners about the delivery of the project. There will be a series of presentations followed by a Q&A with senior members of staff from Scottish Canals on hand to answer any queries about the project.
If you would like to attend please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
We will update this page as works progress.