Discussions on future of Inverness Castle
Issued by The Scottish Government
Tourism Minister launches new Working Group.
Long-term proposals to explore transforming Inverness Castle into an iconic tourist attraction will be taken forward by a new Scottish Government and The Highland Council Working Group, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing has announced.
The newly formed Working Group will consider how best to make use of the historic building and how to deliver maximum benefits both to visitors and people living in Inverness.
A remit and proposed membership of representatives from civic and public bodies, will be discussed by the Working Group at its first meeting later in the autumn, which will be chaired by Mr Ewing and Highland Council leader Drew Hendry.
Mr Ewing said: “The Castle’s potential as a tourist attraction has been highlighted by people in Inverness for many years and we really need to take these views on board.
“I’ve heard many suggestions and underlying them all is the message that the Castle is the jewel in the city’s crown. It’s a building which has the potential to be a centrepiece for visitors to learn more about the city and showcase the Highlands as a tourist destination.
“Our new Working Group will consider all the long-term proposals and compile a comprehensive consultation document allowing members of the public to have their say.
“The current occupants of the castle are the Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court. Clearly any plans regarding possible relocation of these services will be considered thoroughly by the Scottish Court Service, Scottish Government and The Highland Council.”
Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “It would be great for the City of Inverness to get Inverness Castle into use as a key tourist attraction. For too long, visitors to the City have been able to look at the Castle but haven’t been able to get access.
“That’s not good enough for this city going forward. For people who come to Scotland one of the top ‘must-see’ attractions to visit are castles and Inverness needs to display its Castle in its best light and that’s not as a working court house.
“I hope that the initiative taken forward by the Minister to set up this joint working group will allow us to move to a position where we can provide genuine access and get full value from our wonderful Inverness Castle.”