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Article published 18/09/2020

The Highland Council has today (18 September) announced local Highland company, Compass Building and Construction Services Limited as the successful company to win the tender for the enabling contract.

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

The enabling contract will commence on 5 October and is anticipated to last one year. The findings of the enabling contract works will determine the length of the main construction contract, which is currently estimated to last three years. 

Inverness Castle transformation

Inverness Castle enabling contract awarded. Three men stood outside Inverneses Castle wearing hi-vis equipment.

Fergus Ewing MSP Tourism Secretary, David Duguid MP, UK Government Minister for Scotland and Paul Cowie, Commercial Manager, Compass Building and Construction Services Limited at Inverness Castle.


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 creates a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to the reinvigoration of tourism across the region 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 between The Highland Council, HIE and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth. It has also been supported by up to £315 million investment from the UK and Scottish governments.

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 and Highland City Deal has enabled this and I am pleased we are able to contribute £15 million to the transformation of the Castle.

Fergus Ewing, Tourism Secretary, Scottish Government

I’m very pleased that we are one step closer to the transformation of Inverness Castle. The UK Government is investing £3 million in this major renovation project to create a must-see visitor attraction in the Highlands. We know tourism will contribute greatly to the economic recovery of the region as we bounce back from COVID-19.

We're 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 Deal's right across Scotland, supporting the future of our economy.

David Duguid, UK Government Minister for Scotland

I am very proud of the fact that the Compass team has been successful in winning this contract. The award of the contract is made all the more special on the basis that Compass is a local Highland company.

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.

Thom Macleod, Managing Director with Compass Building and Construction Services