The initial concept designs for the visitor experience within the gardens and South Tower of Inverness Castle have been revealed.
The new images, from exhibition designers Mather & Co, highlight the transformation of the interior of the castle from its use as a prison and courtroom to a world-class visitor attraction.
The visitor experience will utilise the very latest technology to excite the senses with full 360-degree immersion through audio, interactive and digital means.
Within the Inverness Castle Visitor Experience, visitors will experience the Spirit of the Highlands through stories of Landscape (Cruth-tìre) Heritage (Dualchas), Culture (Cèilidh) and Community (Coimhearsnachd).
CEO Chris Mather said: “We want visitors to be amazed and surprised by the incredible stories collected and to be inspired to step out into the Highlands to find and create their own stories.
“We are very excited to be able to share with people some of the designs which are going to make Inverness Castle a first class and compelling destination attraction.
“Our work aims to showcase the rich heritage of the Highlands as well as the Castlehill itself.”
Guided with traditional Scottish storytelling, visitors will connect to Highland stories through a series of themed immersive rooms, where they can walk through forests, gather round the fire for story time, join in a cèilidh, and witness iconic moments of Highland history.
The stories have been crowdsourced from across the Highlands, capturing the spirit of the region’s past, present and future, showcasing people’s accounts of the region.
Mather & Co has completed the design of some of the most successful exhibitions, visitor attractions, tours and museums in the world including the recently opened Gretna Green Experience; Downton Abbey: The Exhibition; The Ultimate Lap at the Silverstone Experience; The Royal Mint Experience; and the R&A World of Golf Museum in St Andrews.
Director of the Inverness Castle Project Fiona Hampton said: “Mather & Co have really brought their creativity, experience and innovation to the project.
“Their approach will consider the whole experience of the visitor, including what people see and interact with before, during and after their visit, to make sure that everyone who visits the castle has an incredible time and can’t wait to return.”
The Inverness Castle project will benefit from £30m investment to support its re-development from the Scottish and UK Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a range of other partners.
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.