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Inverness Castle contract goes to Highland company

By Ali Morrison

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The enabling works on Inverness Castle are due to begin next month.
The enabling works on Inverness Castle are due to begin next month.

The transformation of Inverness Castle into a major tourist attraction has taken a significant step forward with the enabling contract being awarded to Highland company, Compass Building and Construction Services Limited.

The contract will start on October 5 and is expected to last for one year.

The findings of the works will influence the length of the main construction contract which is estimated to last for three years.

The enabling contract is initial work carried out in advance of the main contract, including checks for asbestos, timber preservation and the building structure, all of which cannot be started until the building is vacant.

Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing said: "Inverness Castle is a project close to my heart and I’m pleased to see it take another major step forward in its transformation from Sheriff Court to world-class visitor attraction with this announcement that a local business, Compass Building and Construction Services, has won the contract.

"Scottish Government funding through the Inverness City Deal has enabled this and I am pleased we are able to contribute £15million to the transformation of the Castle."

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid was pleased the announcement of the contract by Highland Council took the transformation of the castle one step closer.

"The UK Government is investing £3 million in this major renovation project to create a must-see visitor attraction in the Highlands," he said.

"We know tourism will contribute greatly to the economic recovery of the region as we bounce back from Covid-19.

"We are creating opportunities and unlocking growth across Inverness and the Highlands by investing £53 million into the City Region Deal as part of more than £1.5 billion of investment into Growth Deals right across Scotland, supporting the future of our economy."

Thom Macleod, managing director with Compass Building and Construction Services, was proud the Compass team had been successful in winning the contract.

"The award of the contract is made all the more special on the basis that Compass is a local Highland company," he said.

"Being able to take part in such a high-profile project that will play a role in the generations to come is so exciting.

"The team is very much looking forward to getting started."

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by a £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 £315 million investment from the UK and Scottish governments, Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

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