Highlands & Islands

'Improved' design of new Inverness Justice Centre

Artist's impression of new Inverness Justice Centre Image copyright SCTS
Image caption The new building will allow courts business to be moved out of Inverness Castle

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) says it has improved the design of its planned new Inverness Justice Centre.

Construction of the complex on a site between Longman Road and Burnett Road is expected to start later this year.

The centre would allow the courts service to move out of Inverness Castle, and the castle to be turned into a tourist attraction.

SCTS said the new design would make the centre a "landmark building".

Highland councillors gave the project planning permission in February.

Image copyright SCTS
Image caption SCTS said the new design offered improvements on an earlier plan

It said it had also addressed planning conditions, was "more efficient" in the use of accommodation and provided "attractive public space", along with improved access via a drop-off area, additional parking and disabled spaces.

SCTS chief executive Eric McQueen said: "Rather than simply a replacement sheriff court building, the justice centre will play a pivotal role in changing victims', witnesses' and offenders' experience of the justice system.

"By bringing together the right organisations, we can all focus on problem-solving approaches to reduce reoffending and increase the opportunity for community sentencing, while providing the facilities and technology to remove the need for children to appear in court and in the longer term, digital case management for summary crime."

Image copyright SCTS
Image caption Most of the centre could be constructed by 2019

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: "We are working with SCTS to deliver a justice system that is accessible and fit-for-purpose and the new Inverness Justice Centre will give the people of the Highlands access to modern facilities and support all in the same place, making a positive impact for local communities.

"I would encourage anybody with an interest in the proposals to go to the public exhibition and make sure they have their say."

Contractor Robertson Construction Ltd is expected to complete the main building work in 2019.

Image copyright SCTS
Image caption The centre is to be built on a site between Longman Road and Burnett Road

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