Castle in need of creative director to shape revamp

Inverness Castle
Inverness Castle

A creative director is being sought to lead the Inverness Castle project to make the historic site and surrounding area a major visitor attraction in the Highlands.

The construction of a new £23 million justice centre in the Longman will see the city sheriff court eventually move out of the castle, making it available for development.

At the same time, Highland Council is purchasing three eyesore buildings on Bridge Street in the city centre, which paves the way for other opportunities in the castle area.

High Life Highland, an arms-length organisation for Highland Council, is advertising the post of a creative director to implement an action plan for the castle and surrounding amenities.

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

“Master-planning prop- osals, together with a market and feasibility study, are under way on the Inverness Castle site, and the project is currently at the stage of testing potential options to determine a financially feasible solution that meets the project brief.

“The creative director will contribute to this process.”

The post is being advertised as a five-year contract.

Inverness Central councillor Bet McAllister said: “This is great news and will progress the development of tourism in the city.”

She continued: “The castle is a hidden gem that will become a major attraction once the sheriff court moves.”

The justice centre will be the first of its kind in Scotland and will have six courtrooms, allowing the sheriff court to move out of Inverness Castle.

And the eyesore concrete blocks in the heart of Inverness are being bought by the council as part of the castle redevelopment plans – paving the way to create a new tourism “gateway to the Highlands”.