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Stirling Prize contender lands £23 million Inverness justice centre job

inverness 3
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RIBA Stirling Prize-shortlisted practice Reiach & Hall has been commissioned to design a new £23 million justice centre in Inverness, Scotland

The scheme on Burnett Road will create a new home for the city’s courts, which are currently housed in the 19th century Inverness Castle designed by William Burn overlooking the city.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) announced plans to leave the castle and move to a new venue back in December.

Edinburgh-based Reiach & Hall, whose City of Glasgow College Riverside Campus is shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize, was appointed to carry out the work by design-and-build contractor Robertson Construction which is delivering the scheme.

The castle (1838) in the city centre is now set to be turned into a tourist destination – for which an architect is still to be announced – where it could contain a museum and art gallery.

Fergus Ewing, tourism minister, said that moving the courts presented the opportunity to create a ‘world-class tourism attraction’ within the existing red sandstone landmark.

He said: ‘Tourism is not just a key part of the local economy but a key driver of growth across Scotland and I am very keen that the castle finds a new life that benefits the Highlands and Scotland as a whole.’

The work is expected on a former Stagecoach depot near the Burnett Road Police Station, after the sale of a neighborhouring plot fell through in May.

A public consultation on the project is due next month and a pre-planning application has already been lodged by the SCTS. Work on site is expected to start later this year, with a completion date of summer 2018. 

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Fergus Ewing is understandably keen to see the best possible future for Inverness Castle, but seem strangely uninterested in the new 'justice centre' - and, even if the new law courts have been made a design & build project, £23 million will surely buy quite a substantial building, and hopefully one of quality.
    I hope Fergus Ewing and the rest of the Scottish government aren't of the opinion that labelling the law courts a 'justice centre' consigns them to the same place in modern architecture as most retail centres.

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