Funding boost for Inverness Castle visitor attraction
A significant new city centre visitor attraction proposed for Inverness has received a major funding boost when Members of The Highland Council City of Inverness Area Committee approved £100k Inverness Common Good Funding.
The project which will see two public viewing platforms providing a 360 degree vista from the North Tower of Inverness Castle; and development of shop and interpretation area is anticipated to attract over 25,000 visitors within its first year.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be around £360k with £200K funding already approved from Highland Council’s Development and Infrastructure budget and a further £60K investment anticipated from Highland and Islands Enterprise.
Leader Brown said: “This is a huge opportunity to create a major tourism attraction that will act as a key focus point for visitors to the City of Inverness.”
The Castle Tower visitor attraction and viewing platform is a project being undertaken in close partnership with the Inverness Castle Working Group which is co-chaired by the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP and the Leader of The Highland Council, Councillor Drew Hendry. The working group partnership includes The Highland Council, Scottish Government, HIE, Historic Scotland, Visit Scotland, Scottish Court Service and engagement with other stakeholders such as the Civic Trust, Inverness Concern and Historic Scotland.
Co-chair of the Castle Working Group, Highland Council Leader, Councillor Drew Hendry said: “This is a very important and swift step to realising access to Inverness castle which is an enormous asset that we are not currently presenting in the best possible way. What we do have is an opportunity to progress works very quickly and get it open to the public as soon as possible.
“The project is not just about a viewing platform it’s about realising an ambition for many people about improving access to the castle. Inverness Castle is of major historic importance and the heritage stories about the castle have wider connections across the Highlands than just in Inverness. We are working with our partners to realise how we can further develop the castle as a major attraction for Inverness and the Highlands.”
Works the North Tower Project are projected to take place during the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years. Once completed, the Council has proposed that the new visitor attraction will be operated by High Life Highland.