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Inverness Castle project awarded £5,000 to include Gaelic in new tourist hub

The historic Inverness Castle sits a top a hill overlooking the River Ness. Picture by Sandy McCook.

The project turning historic Inverness Castle into a tourist centre has been awarded £5,000 to help incorporate the Gaelic language into the new facility.

High Life Highland confirmed that the funding, from the Bòrd na Gàidhlig, will be used to appoint Gaelic cultural advisors for the Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands project.

The advisors will help integrate the Gaelic language and culture into the design of the visitor experience.

Any proposals will fall in line with the Highland Council’s Gaelic Language Plan which sets out to help promote Gaelic and provide speakers with more opportunities.

Work is currently ongoing to transform the castle into a premier visitor attraction within the heart of Inverness which will create a gateway for tourism in the Highlands.

In 2020 the Inverness Sheriff Court was moved from the castle to its new home at the Inverness Justice Centre, allowing the refurbishment to begin.

‘We aim to enhance the profile of Gaelic for many years to come.’

In September, it was announced that the gardens in the ground of Inverness Castle will contain plants relevant to Gaelic traditions and ancient medicinal remedies.

The Inverness Castle project is supported by £15 million from the Scottish Government and £3 million from Westminister through the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.

It is hoped the new castle will help regenerate a tourism industry in Inverness that has been badly impacted by the pandemic.

An artist’s impression of how the new visitor attraction at Inverness Castle will look like when completed. Courtesy The Highland Council

Fergus Ewing MSP, co-chairman of the project delivery group, said: “Through this grant we will be well-placed to showcase how Gaelic language and culture plays an important and key role in shaping the spirit of the Highlands, past, present and future.”

Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness and Area, added: “I’m pleased that Bòrd na Gàidhlig‘s contribution will ensure the Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands project helps to contribute to the Highland Council’s focus on promoting Gaelic in our area.

“As a key project that will create a tourism gateway for the Highlands, and one of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal projects, we aim to enhance the profile of Gaelic for many years to come.”

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