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Highland artists to benefit from scheme tied to redevelopment of city castle


By Gregor White

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The planned new exterior of Inverness Castle, showing a proposed new building linking the two towers, viewed from the east.
The planned new exterior of Inverness Castle, showing a proposed new building linking the two towers, viewed from the east.

£150,000 of Creative Scotland funding is to be made available for Highland artists.

The partners of the Inverness Castle Project will see £150,000 of Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership funding become the foundation for a large-scale commissioning scheme for around 360 commissions for local artists in its initial period.

The initiative entitled Spirit 360 will be inspired by stories gathered through the Spirit of the Highlands castl redevelopment project.

Finished work will be made available on a dedicated website and some of the works are expected to be developed further to become elements within Inverness Castle when it reopens.

The initiative will deliver much-needed funding to the creative sector in the Highlands, whilst gathering material and information critical to support the sector in future.

The Spirit of the Highlands Project will be a key factor in ongoing development for the sector and region.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing said: "Spirit 360 is a fantastic and innovative initiative that will provide the Inverness Castle Project with an artistic interpretation of stories gathered from throughout the Highlands, whilst, more importantly, providing a direct benefit to Highland artists during these difficult times.

"The Inverness Castle Project is supported by funding from the Scottish Government through the Inverness and Highland City Region deal.

"The funding from Creative Scotland for this initiative will do even more to strengthen cultural content for Inverness Castle."

Inverness Provost Helen Carmichael, said: "We are delighted that the Spirit 360 project will support artists throughout the Highlands, all the more important as this sector recovers from the pandemic.

"We look forward to incorporating the artists’ commissions into the development of the Spirit of the Highlands project as it progresses."

Karen Dick, interim head of place, partnerships and communities at Creative Scotland, said: "The Spirit of the Highlands project presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase and develop the vibrancy and breadth of creativity which exists in communities across the Highlands.

"We hope that through this partnership, Creative Scotland and our partners in the cultural sector can support people and creative work in the Highlands during this difficult time."

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by a £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK government investment through the city region deal to create a gateway for Highland tourism.

Earlier this month the first artist's impressions were released of how the redeveloped castle could look.

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