Focus group to consider River Ness Art centrepiece location

Posted on April 15th 2016

by Duncan MacPherson

Inverness City Arts (ICArts) Working Group has listened to public opinion and has decided to set up a focus group to consider possible alternative locations for the River Ness Art Project’s centrepiece art work “The Gathering Place”.

Members of the ICARts Working Group have considered the outcomes of a public consultation survey on the River Ness Art Projects and have agreed to proceed with other artworks in the project programme while setting up a focus group to consider alternative siting and design details of The Gathering Place.

The River Ness Art Projects survey was carried out during January and February this year involving a public exhibition which was displayed in the Inverness Eastgate Centre, Inverness, Museum and Art Gallery and Inverness Library. Members of the public were invited to view the exhibition and complete a questionnaire which was also available on the Highland Council’s website. Details of the survey results will be made available online at www.highland.gov.uk/rivernessart

Members of the ICArts Working Group have listened to public opinion expressed in the survey response which indicated that almost 60% (59.2%) respondents did not agree that the major artwork The Gathering Place should be located at Friar’s Shott at the north end of Huntly Street, Inverness.

Representatives of Inverness BID, Inverness and Loch Ness Tourism BID, and Inverness City Heritage Trust will be invited to participate in the Focus Group along with ICARts Working Group Members, project Artists and the project team. It is planned that the focus group will meet and report back to the ICArts Working Group before summer recess.

The £758,350 project has been commissioned by The Highland Council’s Inverness City Arts Working Group and has funding approval from Creative Scotland £305,600 (40%), The City of Inverness Common Good Fund £280,750 (37%), The Highland Council £106,000 (14%) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise £66,000 (9%).

The River Ness Art Projects are:

  • The Gathering Place – a major artwork designed to bring people together to enjoy the River Ness.
  • The Sculptural Destination – an iconic landmark to visit, interact with or view.
  • Rest Spaces – relaxation areas for individuals or small groups.
  • The Trail – a paper or digital map and trail from Ness islands to the river mouth including things of local interest.
  • River Connections – seating areas and poetry set into stones.
  • Children’s Riverside Water Feature – for young people and families with educational opportunities.