HIGHLAND ARENA PROGRESS
At their meeting in March 2018 the Highland Council made the reluctant decision not to proceed with their proposed Regional Sports facility at the Bught, Inverness. Another victim of continuing austerity and enforced service cutbacks. The project would have made good the major shortfall in quality provision for five key sports and showcased an indoor 250m wooden velodrome, only the second in Scotland and seventh in the UK. HiVelo had been a strong supporter of this project since 2015, had commissioned various technical studies for its development, and helped organise potential external funding in recent months. A well-supported lobbying campaign from across cycling and the wider sports community sadly did not win the day such were the stark financial circumstances and key spending priorities such as essential roads and schools.
HiVelo’s contributions over recent years together with the strength of community support expressed for the exciting Highland Arena project made this ‘too good to fail’. Work is therefore continuing to assemble a new Regional scale sports and business/entertainment venue project to be located in the Inverness area. Although smaller and less comprehensive than its Bught predecessor, the trustees believe this remains a potential gamechanger for safe year-round cycling across the North of Scotland, for major business conferences and top quality shows/occasions which would otherwise bypass the Highlands for lack of a major indoor venue. Good progress is being made and we hope to provide more details once discussions with partners are further advanced.