Spirit of the Highlands – get involved!

Mr Ewing and Cllr Helen Carmichael Provost of Inverness (co-chairs of the Delivery Group for the Inverness Castle- Spirit of the Highlands project, with Cllr Margaret Davidson, Highland Council Leader

In a significant step forward in the transformation of Inverness Castle, The Highland Council today announced a call for people across the Highlands to get involved in shaping the creative content within the Castle when it reopens to the public. 

‘Spirit of the Highlands in 100 stories’ invites everyone and anyone who knows and loves the Highlands to get involved and to contribute their story about what sums up the ‘Spirit of the Highlands’ for them.  These stories will then form the basis of content online and within the transformed Castle building that will encourage people to visit and to explore the Highlands and to find out more about our extraordinary and unique area. 

We live in an extraordinary part of the world, rich in stories that make us laugh, cry or gasp in wonder, that inspire and thrill us, that make us think and make us ceilidh. Whichever part of the Highlands we live in, these stories reflect who we are and how we live our lives.

Everyone who lives, visits and works in the Highlands will have an opportunity to get involved in creating the story to be told through Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands. By sharing these stories, people around the world will see the incredible variety and diversity of the Highlands.  The stories can be about our past, the present and the future, and be about whatever sums up the spirit of the Highlands for you - such as environment, culture, people, daily life, work and heritage.

The first stories for the collection will appear on the Castle hoardings, when designs telling the history of the Castle Hill area are installed on the hoardings around the site later this month.

Everybody has a story to tell, including you – get involved now by visiting the website and submitting your story at www.spiritofthehighlands.com

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said:

“This is another great milestone in the Inverness Castle project. As the Viewpoint reopens and begins welcoming tourists and locals again, I welcome the call for stories from across the Highlands for transforming the Castle building.

“The Highland Spirit is known the world over and this call for 100 stories will not only enhance the Castle offering but give visitors a real insight into the experiences and opportunities that the Highlands has to offer.”

Cllr Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness and Area, said: “This is a great opportunity for people who love the Highlands to have their say in shaping the content for the Spirit of the Highlands online and within the transformed Inverness Castle building in future! This signals another important step in the progress of this tremendously significant project for the Highlands.’”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid said:

“Growing up on a farm in Aberdeenshire, I was surrounded by Scots and Doric language, poems and humour as well as ‘bothy ballads’ and ‘corn kisters’, that continue to enrich our rural community.

“I know the tremendous cultural significance these carry, so I welcome this fantastic opportunity for communities across the Highlands to share their stories with the world and I encourage people from all walks of life to get involved. 

“The UK Government is supporting the transformation of Inverness Castle as part of more than £1.5 billion we are investing in growth deals across every part of Scotland to create jobs and unlock opportunities.”

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the city region deal.

It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid -19 pandemic. The project will support economic growth throughout the Highland area, creating a sustainable, viable and “must-see” attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.

The Inverness and Highland 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.

4 Sep 2020