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Source: Scotland – Highland Council

Issued by High Life Highland

An exhibition, Spirit: Transformation  / Spiorad:Cruth-atharrachadh, is now open at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery telling the story of how the neighbouring Inverness Castle will be transformed to become a visitor attraction that will be a gateway for visitors to the Highlands in years to come. 

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. 

“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 The 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.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • Historic plans showing changes made to the Castle in 1904 when it was converted from a prison into county buildings following the construction of Porterfield Prison.
  • Outline proposals for the creation of a one-storey building to link the North and South towers of the castle, with images showing an artist’s impression of the proposed new building. (All proposals are subject to approval through the statutory planning processes.) 
  • How you can get involved and influence the content of the castle by contributing your story to Spirit:Autobiography, the digital archive that will be created from the stories contributed by the people who live, work and visit the Highlands.  Everyone who knows and loves the Highlands is invited to share their story about what sums up the spirit of the Highlands for them.  These stories will then form the basis of content online and within the transformed Castle building that will encourage people to visit and to explore the Highlands and to find out more about our extraordinary and unique area.   

The exhibition will also share information about how everyone can get involved by sharing their stories, and in this way shaping the content for the Spirit of the Highlands online and within the transformed Castle building in future. The stories will be used to inspire visitors and residents of the area to get to know all parts of the Highlands.

Fiona Hampton concluded: 

“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 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. 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 £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

MIL OSI United Kingdom