Inverness Castle Project takes significant step forward

Issued by High Life Highland

Plans to identify proposals for the possible use of Inverness Castle to promote tourism in the city took a significant step forward today when on behalf of the Inverness Castle Working group High Life Highland appointed Jura Consultants to take the project forward.

Led jointly by the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP and The Highland Council Leader, Cllr Drew Hendry, Inverness Castle Working Group was formed to consider the future use of Inverness Castle as a tourist attraction and maximise its iconic status in the heart of the city.

The project aims to identify and analyse the viability and sustainability of high quality use options for the castle complex that will promote tourism in the area and benefit the tourism economy.

Recent consultations on future plans for the City and consultation with tourism businesses on the development of tourism in Inverness has indicated that there is an overall consensus in the community and with stakeholders for the castle to be put to use in a way that benefits the public and visitors to Inverness.

The elevated position of Inverness Castle, above the banks of the River Ness, creates a visually appealing focal point for the city throughout the year, but particularly in the summer months, its prominent position attracts many visitors who visit the grounds to enjoy the castle, its views and the limited interpretation – all despite there being no specific visitor attraction at the castle at present. 

The Jura Consultants study which is funded by The Scottish Government, HIE and The Highland Council will review and assess the viability of all options for the castle that meet the aims of the working group, to determine what types of development/attraction will attract and retain the maximum audience in the future.

Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said: “I welcome the appointment of Jura Consultants, working in conjunction with a number of other experts, including Gareth Hoskins Architects, as a significant step forward in bringing a new use to a prominent Inverness landmark. 

“Their feasibility study will form the basis of a public consultation that will allow people in Inverness and wider stakeholders the opportunity to help choose a sustainable tourism focussed future for the castle.”

Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “It’s great news that this exciting development continues to move forward at a pace. Realising public access to the castle will be an enormous boost for the tourism attractions of the city and the wider Highland economy.”

11 Feb 2015
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