by Stewart Nicol, Managing Director, Inverness Chamber of Commerce
Despite the many challenges that abound, I would argue that 2022 continues to bring significant economic outlook for businesses.
We have had a major and desperately needed reduction in restrictions associated with the pandemic. And, as all of us in the region’s business community work out the finer details of the ScotWind offshore wind announcement, it’s clear that this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime transformational opportunity. .
I have absolutely no doubt that the Inverness Chamber of Commerce will have a key role to play as we actively connect and represent Highland businesses to support their growth and help ensure that our businesses will benefit greatly from this opportunity.
I never look at the overall economic situation of the Highlands and Islands without reflecting on the vital role Inverness plays in promoting all aspects of our region’s economic fortunes.
While the city has undeniable challenges, there are also many exciting developments. One of the pleasing aspects of this activity is that these developments are well distributed throughout our civic infrastructure, downtown housing and commercial spaces, while providing new tourist attractions. Each of these projects will help transform the downtown area and make it much more attractive as a destination for visitors and residents.
In the summer we will see the opening of the refurbished Victorian Market, which should be a great addition to our downtown shopping and hospitality offering, as well as a heritage destination. At the same time, the hydroelectric project will be opened on the River Ness. In addition to generating renewable energy, this facility will undoubtedly become a popular tourist attraction in its own right.
We will also see, throughout this year, key milestones in the redevelopment of Inverness Castle, in addition to the much needed city center housing projects that will be completed.
The year will end on a high note with the opening of the airport station, undoubtedly ensuring better connectivity between our city and its airport for everyone.