Demolition of all non-listed buildings at the Inverness College site at Midmills in the city centre is to begin next month to make way for more than 80 retirement homes after the site was bought by McCarthy & Stone and Highland Council.
The well-known retirement home provider will build 45 homes on the vacant site, with the Council delivering 40 affordable retirement homes. It’s estimated that 150 jobs will be created as a result of construction starting.
The remaining building on the site, the historic and listed Inverness Royal Academy, will be converted by Wasps Studios into a studio and art gallery for local artists.
The Scottish Futures Trust (SFT) has been working with the Scottish Funding Council and Inverness College to deliver best value and secure the most appropriate end use for the Midmills site that became surplus when the College relocated to its new, state-of-the-art facility on the Beechwood Campus in 2015.
Anna Tozer, strategic disposals manager at the Scottish Futures Trust, explained: “Our role is to work with public sector bodies to help them sell sites in ways that not only deliver receipts to be reinvested in public services, but also secures the otherwise uncertain future of significant listed buildings.
“We’ve secured a very positive outcome for this site which ensures much-needed retirement homes will be built. Securing the architecturally significant Inverness Royal Academy building for the local community to use and enjoy as an art facility is a real bonus, helping safeguard its future.”
Lambert Smith Hampton partnered with Shepherd Surveyors’ Inverness office to market and negotiate the sale of the site for Inverness College.
John Hill, development director at Lambert Smith Hampton said: “This is an excellent example of how private developers and public bodies can team up to provide innovative funding solutions that deliver private and social housing, while ensuring that the listed buildings remain in beneficial use. The scheme designed by McCarthy & Stone delivers a quality new build development that is sensitive to the setting of the listed buildings and surrounding neighbourhood.”