Independent research indicates that the Campus will generate around £38m for the regional economy each year. Modern further and higher education institutions are proven generators of economic wealth and are the key to attracting and retaining young people in an area. In addition to providing direct employment for academic staff and students, universities and colleges can act as a magnet to attract inward investment to the region, and lead to commercialisation of research.
Brought together by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the Campus partners aim to develop the site as a centre of excellence for research, business and learning, to rival the best in Europe. In addition to an innovation science park for private sector research and development, the Campus includes business incubation units. This will support entrepreneurs to create new employment and bring greater economic benefits to the Highlands region.
The approach by the masterplanners, 7N Architects, for the Campus has been driven by a desire to create a gathering place that is connected to the city of Inverness and beyond. The Campus will transform the site by developing new road, pedestrian and cycle infrastructure and an attractive open parkland which will create a place that will benefit local business, the community and the student population.
Throughout the Campus development, positive measures will be taken to be sympathetic towards the natural environment. The intention is to preserve and enhance the setting as much as possible.
The Campus parkland will provide recreational space for people working and studying on the Campus as well as for the wider community. Public art features will further develop the high quality landscape for all to enjoy.
The principle of linking the design of Inverness Campus to the surrounding landscape and creating an attractive space to be enjoyed by all is further enhanced by the plans to seek environmentally friendly solutions for all developments. These include sustainable transport options and investigating sustainable heat and power options for the site.
Inverness Campus will provide sports facilities, public green spaces, public art, and community amenity. Modern sports provision adds to the appeal of the Campus and will be available for local people, campus occupiers and visitors. The Campus aims to become a regional hub for sports and an excellent training centre for athletes and other sports specialists. The internal road, looping around the central lochans and parkland area, is designed to be one kilometre in length both for running/jogging and cycle workouts.