Construction of the new Inverness Justice Centre is nearing completion as developers prepare to hand over the keys in March.
The multipurpose £23 million complex will be the first of its kind in the country, transforming the way justice is delivered across the north.
As the final phase of construction works get underway, plans are now in place to transfer the Inverness Sheriff Court and Justice of the Peace Court from its current home in Inverness Castle to their new quarters on Longman Road; ahead of the centre’s grand opening on March 30.
The transition will pave the way for the city’s iconic landmark to be transformed into a major tourist attraction stimulating further economic growth for Inverness.
Eric McQueen, Chief Executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service, said: “The construction of the Inverness Justice Centre is progressing well and we are now preparing to relocate the courts from their historic home into the new centre.
“The centre will represent the changing face of justice by including facilities and technology to remove the need for children to appear in person at court and to support the development of digital case management for summary crime in the future.”
Construction work on the centre first began in March last year.
The contemporary building will house six new court rooms and a tribunals hearing room, and will be fitted with the latest technology to enhance the experience for all users.
Within the two-storey structure, the criminal courts will be located on the first floor whilst the civil courts and tribunals will be housed on the ground floor.
As well as providing modern court and tribunals facilities, the new centre will be home to a range of justice and support organisations offering integrated services for victims, witnesses, litigants and other users, with specially designed facilities for children and young people.
Citizens Advice Bureau, NHS Highland, Police Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid are just some of the services that will have a working space in the centre.
Inverness Councillor Emma Roddick said: “There are so many aspects of it that are good, and also opening up the castle as a tourist destination. It’s exciting in a number of ways.
“I think it puts focus on the whole area of justice and proves that we are serious about it. There will be new jobs and it will generally be good for the local area.”