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Former cell block demolished at Inverness Castle as work continues to develop a world-class tourist attraction for the Highlands


By Val Sweeney

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The cell block at Inverness Castle is demolished.
The cell block at Inverness Castle is demolished.

The cell block at Inverness Castle has been demolished as work continues to transform the building into a world-class tourist attraction.

The cell block, located at the rear of the south tower, was used up until the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service vacated the building in March 2020.

The block was originally built as a garage and its removal has revealed a doorway and two windows, all of which had been blocked up and hidden for many decades.

The doorway would have originally been the judges’ entrance to the building.

Part of the demolition process was carried out using manual labour to carefully remove and preserve the stone blocks used in this part of the building.

The cell block at Inverness Castle has been demolished.
The cell block at Inverness Castle has been demolished.

The demolition work was carried out as part of the enabling contract, a programme of initial work carried out in advance of the main contract. It includes checks for asbestos, timber preservation and the building structure.

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the city region deal.

It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry to aid the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An artist's impression of how the castle will look.
An artist's impression of how the castle will look.

The project will support economic growth throughout the Highland area, creating a sustainable, viable and "must-see" attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.

The Inverness and Highland City Region deal is a joint initiative supported by up to £315 million investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

Related story: Transformation of Inverness Castle takes a step forward


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