Issued by The Highland Council in association with HITRANS and Abellio Scotrail
The Highland Council, in collaboration with HITRANS, is entering into a joint commission with Abellio ScotRail to develop design ideas for improvements to Inverness Railway Station.
Dundee-based architects Nicoll Russell Studios have been commissioned to complete this design work by spring 2016. Nicoll Russell Studios are architects for the re-development of Dundee Railway Station. They previously carried out a strategic study on Inverness Station as part of Abellio’s successful bid for the ScotRail franchise.
Abellio ScotRail plans to invest up to £2M in Inverness Rail Station to improve the main entrance and Station Square, refurbish the concourse, expand commercial and retail opportunities and extend cycle parking.
The Council and HITRANS are funding additional design work to create safer, more convenient walking and cycling links to and from the Station. Designs will be developed to improve pedestrian access between Station Square and the Victorian Market and the walking route between the Station, bus station and Rose Street car park. The results of a recent HITRANS survey of Rail passenger views will inform the design process.
When proposals have been finalised the Council expects to partner HITRANS in a joint bid to the Scottish Stations Fund for a contribution towards the cost of delivering the scheme. This £30M fund is administered by Network Rail on behalf of the Scottish Government to improve the public’s access to railway services. It is the responsibility of Scottish Ministers to agree which projects are supported by this fund.
The Council’s involvement in the project is part of ongoing work to increase accessibility and footfall in the city centre. The Council was recently awarded £1.49M from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards a funding pot of over £3M for investment in regeneration of Academy Street through the Inverness Townscape Heritage project. Improvements to Station Square are a high priority for this project, as the space is an important gateway for people arriving in the city and it is surrounded by key heritage buildings that are incredibly important to Academy Street.
Provost and Leader of the Inverness and Area, Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “We are absolutely delighted to be partnering Abellio Scotrail and HITRANS in developing designs to transform Inverness Rail Station. The station is such an important gateway to the city centre because it creates a first impression for many of our visitors. Making the most of the Station and its surroundings is a top priority in regenerating the city centre and making it a more attractive place to live, work and visit.”