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Saturday, April 20, 2024

HIE Support The Next Steps for The Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands

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The Co-Chairs of the Inverness Castle Delivery Group, Fergus Ewing MSP and Cllr Ian Brown, are delighted to announce the award of £30,000 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in support of framing the 57 panels that will form the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands.

This financial commitment from HIE has contributed significantly to the preservation of the 57 panels created by communities across the Highlands and Islands, of which 32 will be included in the first exhibition as part of the Inverness Castle Experience. 

The official announcement of this funding amount took place today during a site visit and photocall involving Cllr Ian Brown, Stuart Black and Alistair Dodds Chief Executive and Chair of HIE.

The North Tower gallery space provided an ideal setting for today’s news as it will be the new home to the ‘Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands’ exhibition when the castle opens as a visitor attraction in 2025.

Guests also included Sue Gardiner, a Sutherland stitcher and Dornoch Fibre Fest co-ordinator and fellow stitcher, Janet Thom from Oban, who had the opportunity to witness the early unveiling of the framed Sutherland Flow Country Panel, crafted with dedication by Sutherland stitchers, Sue Gardiner was one of the stitchers who played a pivotal role in its creation.

This panel will be being displayed at the upcoming Dornoch Fibre Fest event [8 – 10 March 2024], allowing festival goers the opportunity to see, up close, the skill and passion that went into crafting the remarkable panel.

Fergus Ewing MSP, said:

“We are deeply grateful for the support from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

“This funding has allowed us to frame the tapestry panels which will enable us to support events such as Dornoch’s Fibre Fest and hopefully other such community-based initiatives in the future.”

Cllr Ian Brown, Leader of Inverness City and Area, said:

“This project has brought communities together to celebrate their shared heritage.

“Our goal is to make the tapestry panels a source of inspiration and cultural pride for people across the Highlands.”

James Turner, head of strengthening communities with HIE’s Inner Moray Firth team, said:

“The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands Tapestry is an arts and culture asset for communities across the Highlands and Islands who have contributed significant time to creating it.

“As such it is in keeping with our community and economic objectives for the region.

“Having the tapestry framed will protect and preserve it and extend its lifespan.

“It could also open up opportunities for it to be displayed in other locations, for example in national galleries or exhibitions.

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to provide this assistance and look forward to continuing our close association with the project.”

Sue Gardiner, Sutherland Stitcher and Dornoch Fibre Fest co-ordinator, added:

“It is fantastic to finally see the Sutherland panel framed.

“We are incredibly proud to be bringing the panel back home to Sutherland for a short stay, as part of the Dornoch Fibre Fest, which gives visitors a sneak preview of what they can expect to see in the castle.”

Completed tapestry panels will be exhibited within the newly transformed Inverness Castle and at venues across the Highlands and Islands.

The tapestry was created as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, a partnership project between The Highland Council and High Life Highland, delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland.

The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands tapestry is an arts and culture asset for communities across the Highlands and Islands who have contributed significant time to creating it.

As such it is in keeping with our community and economic objectives for the region.

The Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands project was supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), led by NatureScot and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The Inverness Castle project is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, which 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.

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