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Inverness Castle – designs for building site hoardings lodged with planners at Highland Council

By Ali Morrison

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General news.
General news.

PROPOSED designs for screen hoardings which will encircle Inverness Castle during its planned transformation into a tourist attraction have been lodged by Highland Council.

The designs, which will include the history of Castle Hill from the ice age to the present day as well as key historical figures, will be installed in the near future, if approved.

Screen fencing has already been erected at the castle site, in readiness for the hoardings.

"For people walking around the area, the hoardings tell the story of Castle Hill from the time of the last ice age through to present day and begin to set out the plans to transform the former court and prison into a modern visitor attraction," said a spokesman for the council.

"Appearances by St Columba, Robert the Bruce, Mary Queen of Scots and Flora MacDonald highlight the role of the area in our country’s history through the centuries. And look out for Young Flora who introduces herself at this early stage in the project.

"The Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands project will provide much needed investment and re-energising of the tourism industry across the area, as the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic gets under way. 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.

"Following the completion of the purchase of the South Tower last week, the entire site is now in the ownership of Highland Council. The installation of hoardings this week mark the area of the castle that is to become a building site as it is transformed into a gateway for Highland tourism. The hoardings are expected to remain in place for the duration of the building period of up to four years, being adjusted as required during this period to accommodate changes in the extent of the building site.

"The next step is the award of a tender for a contractor to carry out initial demolition work, asbestos surveys, timber preservation surveys and structural checks, called an ‘enabling works contract’, with work beginning when lockdown guidelines allow.

The project forms part of the Inverness and Highland City Region deal. The City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

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