Published: 20/06/2018 13:00 - Updated: 19/06/2018 10:32

Northern Meeting Park to be open to the public

Written byVal Sweeney


Northern Meeting Park
The Northern Meeting Park is to be opened for a two-week trial period this summer.

PEOPLE are being urged to take up the rare chance to linger in a historic Inverness park next month.   

The usually-locked wrought iron gates of the Northern Meeting Park will be thrown open to the public for a two-week trial following a request by campaigners wanting to secure greater public access to the facility in the longer term.

The Love This Park group is currently exploring the possibility of transferring ownership of the site from Highland Council to a community-run group with the aim of transforming it into a recreational space for all to use.

In the interim, it has been agreed the gates will be opened each day between 8am and 8pm for two weeks from July 2.

Leading campaigner Jon Ford wants people to visit the Victorian landmark.

"We want people to come along and experience the park," he said.

"We want folk to give us some feedback but primarily we want them to come along and use the park as a park – come along and bring a picnic, or kick a ball about."

The park, in Ardross Street, was built in 1864 as the world’s first Highland Games stadium.

It serves as the home ground for Northern Counties Cricket Club and is also used by three primary schools for a couple of hours a week.

In addition, it is used for occasional events including the fireworks display for the city’s annual Hogmanay party and concerts.

Campaigners believe greater use could be made of the green space and a new lease life given to the dilapidated buildings by acquiring the site under Scotland’s community asset transfer scheme.

Mr Ford said there has been positive feedback for the idea.

"People have different notions of how they would like to see it used but they are interested in it becoming a focal point for the community in whatever guise that might be," he said.

"We will take the opportunity to gather information from those who want to give it, and try and get more people on board – the more, the merrier."

People are also invited to visit the park tomorrow (Thursday, June 21) between 5pm and 8pm as part of the Own Your Street Inverness campaign to shape the way the city uses outdoor spaces.

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