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Highland Council members will be presented with the UK Levelling Up Fund report at the full council meeting today (Thursday June 30) and an agreement will be sought for members to submit two separate bids for round two of the fund including Portree Harbour (standalone Heritage bid).
The fund was introduced on March 3 when the Chancellor set out details of a £4.8 billion pot offering successful bids the chance to invest in infrastructure. The highly competitive fund targets places across the UK with the most significant need, measured by an index which considers the need for economic recovery and growth; improved transport connectivity and regeneration.
Members will be asked to agree to the proposed stand-alone bid under the Heritage and Culture strand of the fund for Portree harbour and village regeneration along with the North Coast 500 Transport Bid.
The harbour in Portree is an important cultural and heritage asset for the Isle of Skye and acts as an important gateway to the island. This project aligns with the Skye and Raasay Future ambitions which the council has worked closely on with community representatives.
It has the potential to transform Portree harbour, supporting the local economy and delivering a quality infrastructure and environment which will deliver key benefits for the area.
The key elements of the bid include:
• harbour upgrade
• new access
• new berthing and mooring
• new quayside services
• relocation of fuel tanks
Economy and infrastructure committee chairman councillor Ken Gowans said: ‘A transformative upgrade to Portree harbour could be a real catalyst for economic recovery in a distinctive area in Highland.’
There will be two further rounds of UK Levelling Up Funds and it is hoped to resubmit the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency bid in Round 3 which should be open for submission around summer 2023.