The public has been offered their first glimpse at the newly-renovated Inverness Town House after its £4.2 million transformation – and given it an overwhelming thumbs up.
The doors to the civic centre, which was originally constructed in 1882, opened at the weekend, following extensive works aimed at restoring the Victorian Grade A-listed building to its former glory.
In the aftermath of visiting the monument, residents described the city centre monument as “stunning” and something that “Inverness should be proud of”.
Around £4million has been spent renovating both the west wing and the front of the building, with the exterior staying under wraps for most of the time.
A “building wrap” – costing £20,000 – was placed across the front of the building for the last two years, depicting a full-scale image of the civic landmark.
Provost of Inverness, Cllr Helen Carmichael said the building should be regarded as not just being the local authority’s home, but a monument for the whole city.
She added: “Inverness Town House is not just for Highland Council, staff and councillors, it belongs to the Inverness Common Good Fund and therefore belongs to the people of Inverness.
“People have been impressed by the wonderful renovations to the exterior of the building, which now stands proudly in the centre of Inverness, but we invite everyone to come and see how stunning the interior is as well.”
During the tour of the premises, visitors were able to view the newly re-decorated main hall, the council chamber, staircase, stained glass windows, chandeliers and many historic artworks on display – including paintings of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald.
Phase three of the work – which will cost £2.3million – will entail refurbishment to the rear of the main building and include full stone repairs and replacement, mortar repointing, guttering and window repairs and replacement.
The work is expected to take up to two years to complete.
The project has been funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.