The front door of Inverness Castle – the original formal entrance – has been revealed this week for the first time in almost 50 years, as part of the transformation of the building to create a gateway for Highland tourism.
The former entrance lobby in the Castle has also been reopened to the large ceremonial staircase behind, reinstating the dramatic original entrance that the building once enjoyed.
Until March 2020 the castle had been occupied by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service.
During this period, a second court room was installed in the area immediately behind the front door, blocking the formal entrance to the building and an alternative door was used for access to the building.
However, as part of the ongoing works at the castle, this relatively recent addition to the castle is being removed.
This work is being 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 Inverness and Highland 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, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.