The future of historic Invergordon town hall hangs in the balance with a possible sale on the cards as Highland Council considers options

City Hall is a local landmark with fond memories for many. But future and lasting use has been difficult to identify.

Highland Council’s stark assessment is that Invergordon Town Hall should be sold before it is too late to fix it as they have been unable to generate enough money to save it from himself.

All efforts, including extensive work by the Invergordon Development Trust (IDT), which sought to reclaim the Grade B listed building constructed in 1871, came to nothing.

A recent consultation on the future of the town hall saw no response from the public and it is now recommended that it be rented out or resold before it deteriorates further.

But even that is a tall order as, according to the council, the costs of renovation and restoration were ‘likely to exceed several hundred thousand pounds’ and significantly diminish the value of the property.

However, it is now believed to be best to try to find a buyer or head tenant willing to invest in the property in an effort to prevent it from getting worse, despite it being the only property of common good identified with Invergordon.

How we previously reported the story.
How we previously reported the story.

Sara Murdoch, Common Good Fund Officer, said: “The revenue generated from the current rental agreement is well below the funds that need to be spent on the property to restore it to an adequate state of repair.

“All efforts to increase usage or funding source over a number of years have proven unsuccessful. A community proposal to develop the asset also failed. A decision on the future of the building must be made before it deteriorates further

“The proposal met with strong opposition and resulted in the formation of the Invergordon Development Trust (IDT) which expressed a desire to take over the town hall.

“The Ross & Cromarty area committee has decided that the proposal should not go ahead and that IDT should be given time to formulate business plans and explore funding potential.

“In the period since the end of the last consultation, every business case presented has been exhausted with little progress. It was recognized that it would not be possible to maintain the building for community and minor commercial purposes only and that an anchor tenant would be required.

Invergordon Town Hall.
Invergordon Town Hall.

“After careful consideration, IDT has confirmed that it is unable to formulate an appropriate business model that would enable it to take over the town hall.

“The position was continuously monitored during regional committee meetings. On February 17, the Easter Ross area committee received the latest update, including confirmation on behalf of IDT that they were unable to proceed.

“The committee was told that the costs of refurbishment and restoration were likely to exceed several hundred thousand pounds. As a result, the area committee decided that the only way to seek to preserve the building would be, again, to seek to offer it on the open market for sale or long-term rental.

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