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New lease of life as Highland Housing Alliance to transform derelict Inverness building

Gail Matheson, HHA chief executive, Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael, Claire Dolan of HHA and Thom Macleod, managing director of Compass outside the Castle St building
Gail Matheson, HHA chief executive, Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael, Claire Dolan of HHA and Thom Macleod, managing director of Compass outside the Castle St building

A new lease of life has been granted to one of the oldest buildings in Inverness after Highland Housing Alliance (HHA) revealed plans to create flats and a retail unit.

Work on the building on the city’s Castle Street will commence next month with eight modern flats created for rent, alongside a shop front which will be leased and owned by HHA.

The project has been made possible after £1.2million was secured from the Scottish Government’s partnership support for regeneration scheme, with further funds granted from the city region deal.

The building had fallen into a state of serious disrepair under its previous ownership with emergency works required to prolong its life.

Gail Matheson, HHA chief executive, said:  “We are excited to be regenerating this building on Castle Street and to stop such a historic Inverness building being lost altogether.

“We will be retaining lots of the building’s key characteristics such as the pend entrance, stonework, original footprint of the building, and a historic stone discovered at the rear of the site which will become a feature of the restored building.

“This is a great development opportunity for HHA and fantastic to be part of the restoration of this building.”

Construction firm Compass has been entrusted with carrying out the works after making the building safe, secure and watertight over the past three years.

Managing director Thom Macleod said: “The investment being made, leading to the award of this project, will underpin many local full-time construction jobs and also crucially apprentice positions within the multidisciplinary Compass Group at a time when we are seeking to re-start both the industry and economy, this is most welcome indeed.”

Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael said it is “terrific news” and will create “new opportunities for people to live in the heart of Inverness as part of the wider regeneration of the city”.

She added: “It has been sad passing the site and seeing, what was once, a prominent building become so derelict, so I really look forward to seeing the dramatic transformation to give it a new lease of life.”

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said the project will provide new homes while helping to “reinvigorate the city centre”.

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