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Inverness Museum and Art Gallery exhibition to highlight plans to transform Inverness Castle into a gateway tourist attraction for the wider Highlands

By Philip Murray

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Inverness Castle earlier this summer. Picture: James Mackenzie.
Inverness Castle earlier this summer. Picture: James Mackenzie.

THE transformation of Inverness Castle into a tourist attraction is the subject of a new exhibition at the neighbouring Inverness Museum and Art Gallery.

Spirit:Transformation/Spiorad:Cruth-atharrachadh, is now open. Highlights include historic plans showcasing changes made to the castle when it was converted from a prison to county buildings.

The outline proposals for a new one-storey building linking the north and south towers will also be on display. And people will also be able to contribute their own story to a digital archive, which will then form content online and within the transformed castle that will bid to encourage people to explore the wider Highlands.

Fiona Hampton, director of the "Inverness Castle – Spirit of the Highlands" project, said: “High Life Highland is delighted to host this exhibition in Inverness Museum and Art Gallery offering an opportunity for people who love the Highlands to find out more about the plans for the transformation of the castle."

She added: “Amongst many other things, the exhibition will have the ceremonial key donated by Sheriff Principal Pyle, Sheriffdom of Grampian, Highland and Islands at the time when the South Tower of the castle was transferred to the ownership of Highland Council as well as a virtual tour of the castle giving a fly-through of the building interior, showing the rooms as they look now before any changes take place.

“It is intended that the exhibition will tour to other High Life Highland venues such as libraries and leisure facilities around the Highlands in the weeks to come – so look out for more details in due course. In the meantime, we’d really like to see everyone get involved now by visiting the website and submitting your story at www.spiritofthehighlands.com.”

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

It is hoped it will create a gateway for Highland tourism, and help to reinvigorate tourism across the area and provide much needed investment for the industry as it tries to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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

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