Highlands & Islands

Council considers Inverness business park loan relief

A company may be given a reprieve on the first repayment of £1.1m it owes a council so that its work to create a new business park is protected.

Last year, Inverness Airport Business Park Ltd (IABP) opted to defer the repayment of £587,500.

Highland Council said a review of the firm's accounts confirmed it had "insufficient" funds to make a payment.

Officers said IABP made progress in 2011, but recommended councillors did not yet seek the first instalment.

In their report, they said to seek the first payment now would have an adverse affect on the project, which is still in its early stages.

IABP issued the council with loan stock to reflect the cost incurred by the local authority in building a new access road to the airport from the A96.

Most significant

Highland Council reviewed IABP's accounts to help determine whether the company was in a position to make the first repayment after it had opted to defer until May 2015.

In their report, council officers said IABP had made "considerable progress" in moving towards the start of construction work on the site next to Inverness Airport.

The business park is to be developed in a series of stages.

In April 2011, Warwickshire-based Roxhill signed a seven-year agreement with IABP to develop more than 400,000 sq ft (37,161 sq m).

IABP said the deal was one of the most significant for the Highlands in years and could lead to more than 1,200 jobs.

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