Highlands & Islands

'Cash-flow issue' for Scottish Housing Expo

Solar panels
Image caption The housing expo will promote energy efficiency

A council is to be asked to underwrite a homes exhibition by up to £100,000.

About 50 "green" properties are being built on the outskirts of Inverness for August's Scottish Housing Expo.

But a report to be presented to Highland councillors has revealed difficulties securing private sponsorship because of the recession.

In the paper, council officials said the expo's board anticipated a "cash-flow issue" until ticket sales generated funds.

Backed by the Scottish government, Highland Council and the Highland Housing Alliance, the event aims to showcase ground-breaking energy efficient and affordable housing.

The staging of the expo at Balvonie Braes, at Milton of Leys, was postponed last year amid the first signs of a recession.

Ticket sales

Its board has forecast the exhibition will attract 30,000 visitors.

Tickets have been priced at £9 for adults and £4.50 for school age children, but discounted tickets are also available.

The report to councillors meeting on Wednesday, officials said advance sales have not been "significant", but expected this to improve.

Additional council staff have been brought in to offer advice and support - including its planning director.

Highland's planning, environment and development committee will be asked to agree to underwrite the board by up to £100,000.

The report said the expo promoted the building of low energy housing.

But its authors added: "The council's underwriting of the event could be at risk if ticket sales do not progress as envisaged."

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