Home   News   Article

Union Court in Inverness is set to be complete within days

By Rachel Smart

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
The £12.5m redevelopment of Union Court is set to be complete within days. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The £12.5m redevelopment of Union Court is set to be complete within days. Picture: James Mackenzie.

A MAJOR new city centre housing and retail complex is on course to be completed within days, according to the developer.

Union Court, which has been created out of the former Arnotts department store in Union Street, is a £12.5 million regeneration project started in 2020.

Speaking exclusively to the Inverness Courier, Stuart Pender, of developer Swilken Estates, has given details of the changes that have taken place, and what people can expect to see in the next few months.

The new development includes six new commercial units – four accessible from Union Street and two via Baron Taylor’s Street on the opposite side of the building.

With the hope it will prove a hotspot for high-end retail, cafés, restaurants and offices, one of the units has now been let.

Mr Pender said: “We are really pleased with the transformation of the Victorian building, which has been refitted to an extremely high standard.

“The fronts of each of the units have been restored to provide a glimpse into the spirit of time, as an ode to what the building was like in the 1900s.”

The refurbishment was carried out by Inverness-based IBI Joiners, with more than 200 people employed on the project.

“Brian Innes, from IBI Joiners, and his team have been absolutely brilliant,” Mr Pender said.

“This is their biggest project to date and they have carried out the work to an incredible standard.

“It has created a lot of employment for the local economy.”

Stuart Pender.
Stuart Pender.

Businesses are set to be welcomed along to see the changes that have taken place in the coming weeks, with an opportunity to ask questions.

The units are being managed and let by Graham and Sibbald.

“We have lots of pre-marketing enquiries about the commercial units and we really want to get the right tenants into them,” Mr Pender said.

“The launch day (expected to take place in late February/early March) will be an opportunity for local businesses and organisations to come along and see the scope they could have with the development.

“We hope to have all the units filled by summer time which will be perfect for the height of the tourism season.”

Mr Pender hopes the development will also attract people from across the Highlands into the city centre.

“Providing a great product in the heart of Inverness will be an incentive for locals to come into the city,” he said.

“Having the right tenants will bring the footfall and attraction.”

The refurbishment also includes the creation of 53 new residential properties, all completed on time and on budget by IBI Joiners last September.

These are now managed by Highland Council and Highland Housing Alliance (HHA).

The council’s housing and property committee chairwoman, Councillor Glynis Sinclair, said: “The Highland Council working with HHA have created much-needed affordable housing options in the heart of Inverness city centre.

“To repurpose an iconic building to offer 53 housing options for people to live and work in the city is a fantastic achievement.

Local businesses will be invited to a launch day in the coming months. Picture: James Mackenzie
Local businesses will be invited to a launch day in the coming months. Picture: James Mackenzie

“We know that demand to live in the Highlands and indeed the city of Inverness is high, yet housing can be a stumbling block for those wishing to take up employment in the area.

“The Highland Council, alongside our partners, will continue to work to build a portfolio of affordable housing stock to enable people to have viable options available to them.

“The Union Street development is a prime example of making positive change within the city and I’m confident that the residents will bring opportunities, localism and a new vibrancy to this part of the city.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More