The Highland Council’s Council Chamber at Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week.
The extension to Council Headquarters was opened on Wednesday 22 October 1986 by the Convener of the former Highland Regional Council, the late Councillor Ian Campbell, Sconser, Skye.
It was built at a cost of £1.6 million by Whatlings Building Ltd. It incorporates offices on the ground floor, currently occupied by the Chief Executive’s Service, and on the upper floor the Chamber, two Committee Rooms and a Members’ Lounge.
The Chamber has seating for 113 people and has hosted a wide range of events over two and a half decades.
Solar panels were added to the building recently to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint.
The Chamber was built principally to provide a modern meeting place for the former Regional Council, which at that time met at Dingwall in the premises of the former Ross and Cromarty District Council.
In 1986, the former Highland Regional Council comprised 52 members. There were also more than 100 District Councillors, serving on 8 District Councils.
The Highland Council has 80 members.
The only Highland Councillor, who served on the Regional Council in 1986 is Council Leader Dr Michael Foxley, Fort William and Ardnamurchan, who entered local government in 1986.
Dr Foxley said: “The building provides an impressive home for local democracy in the Highlands. It has also hosted many UK and Scottish Government meetings and visits from the Royal Family. A highlight was the visit of US astronaut, John Young, who walked on the moon.
“It is still very much fit for purpose. We have moved with the times to provide live web casts of our meetings and this is an important to demonstrate the open-ness of local democracy. The Chamber was a sound investment and has stood the test of time.”