Progress for Inverness Castle transformation
The Highland Council today announced further details of the planned transformation for Inverness Castle which will begin after the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service move out of the building next year.
The Inverness Castle project is a vital part of the regeneration of Inverness city centre and will be a gateway for Highland tourism. The project will support economic growth in the city and throughout the Highland area, creating a sustainable, viable and “must-see” attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.
The project forms part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal. The City-Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.
Inverness Castle, dating from the twentieth century. © HLH/Highland Libraries
The plans described are subject to receiving the necessary permissions. They include:
- Reinstate the original front door of the South Tower as the formal entrance to Inverness Castle
- Introduce a single-storey infill in the courtyard between the South and North Towers, linking the buildings for the first time
- Improve the external spaces around the buildings
- Protect the volume and proportions of the original Court Room
- Remove later addition partitions from the South and North Towers, restoring the plan to a series of fewer, larger, spaces
- Improve universal access throughout the buildings
- Rationalise support facilities, such as plant and toilets, into one or two places in both building
The Provost of Inverness, Cllr Helen Carmichael, said:
“The Inverness Castle project is vital to the regeneration of our city centre so it is good to share more of the details for what is planned. I am especially pleased to see that much of the work will be focussing on improving accessibility, both within the historic building and around the grounds which provide terrific views of the city and beyond. I look forward to further updates and seeing our much loved castle be transformed into a first class visitor attraction.”
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“The Scottish Government continues to support the transformation of Inverness Castle through the City Region Deal into a visitor attraction of international significance. We welcome today’s announcement regarding plans for the North and South Tower once the current occupants relocate to the new justice centre. Inverness Castle has always been a central point of the city, and the cooperative approach being taken between the Scottish Government and its agencies in supporting the Council, will help enable a high quality development that benefits locals and visitors alike.”
UK Government Minister for Scotland Colin Clark said:
“The transformation of Inverness Castle will boost the city’s offering as a major visitor destination. I am very pleased the UK Government is supporting this work as part of its £53 million investment in the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.
“We have already invested £2.5 million in developing the castle area, including refurbishment of the viewing platform, which opened in 2017 and gives breath-taking 360 degree views over the city.
“The UK Government is investing £1.4 billion into City and Growth Deals across Scotland which will create jobs, opportunities and sustainable growth.”
Inverness Castle is a Highland Council project, managed by High Life Highland on behalf of the Council. The Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, VisitScotland, Scottish Development International, Historic Environment Scotland, and Scottish Natural Heritage are partners in the project.