Almost 21 years ago, Inverness became a City, yet we’ve never set out a shared vision of what kind of city it could and should be. Collectively we have missed this opportunity, and that includes me when I was Council leader. Now is a good time to correct that, look forward, and address the question – what is the vision for Inverness City?
What I know for sure is that to fully answer that question, we need to capture the spirit and hopes of people living here. The answer lies in their ambitions for the place they live and their families, and we need to build these into the decisions we make today and in the future.
This isn’t a mere planning exercise, nor is it the responsibility of any single organisation – we all have a role to play and to get this right we need to work collectively, openly, across organisations and the political divide.
If we don’t seize the opportunity to set out a vision for the city, we will unintentionally make growth harder on ourselves, inhibiting business growth and reducing the wealth and well-being of the people living in the city and across the Highlands. So, why not make it easier on ourselves and work together to describe the next chapter of Inverness.
This vision is a taste of what Inverness could be in 2035. Imagine how much easier decisions about infrastructure and investment become if we have a collective understanding of why we are doing what we are doing. I am grateful to those who have given their time to work on this vision document; it is about starting a conversation and posing the most important question – if not this, then what? Hopefully, we all agree, we can’t continue to leave the question unanswered.
Inverness Futures Group: Drew Hendry MP, Steve Walsh, Highlife Highland; James Mackenzie-Blackman & Lucy McGlennon, Eden Court; Chris O’Neil, Inverness College; Sam Faircliff, Cairngorm Brewery, George Moodie, Virgin Money; Catherine Bunn, Highland Campervan; Stewart Nicol, Inverness Chamber of Commerce; Allan Macguire, Highland Council; Charlie Lawrence, Property Expert; Alistair Dodds, Public Policy Expert.