The Campus has been short-listed in the Scotland category of The Planning & Placemaking Awards 2016, with the winner to be announced in London on Wednesday 29 June.
The regional category finalists were selected for displaying ‘outstanding’ planning work as well as demonstrating improvements in the physical and environmental quality of a place or the socio-economic well-being of a community.
Ruaraidh MacNeil, project director for Inverness Campus project which is led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), believes the nomination is a reflection of the careful planning that went into the project. He said: “When the idea of Inverness Campus was first mooted, we looked at best practice for academic, business and clinical research in rural areas in Canada and Finland and came up with the model of a multi-stakeholder site for a mix of educational, healthcare and commercial sector organisations which supported our distinctive ‘collaborative campus’ approach.”
Located on a 215 acre site, Inverness Campus has seen the development of several new buildings since Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, officially opened it in May 2015. A Life Sciences building, designed to allow like-minded tenants to share knowledge and resources, was completed last year and the latest building on Inverness Campus, An Lòchran (which means a torch or lantern in Gaelic), is due for completion in the spring. It will house HIE, the University of the Highlands & Islands, and Scotland’s Rural College.
Ruaraidh adds that the award nomination is also fitting given that this is Scotland’s official Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. “All of the buildings on the site have to comply with the Campus Masterplan Design Guidelines to ensure they reflect and enhance the surrounding environment. For instance, all existing and future buildings have to use colour palettes and materials consistent with the natural hues of the Highlands. Against this backdrop, and given that Inverness is now one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, we believe that Inverness Campus is an extremely attractive location in which to live and work.”