Friday saw the last remaining tapestry panels handed over in Inverness, by stitching groups from across the region, to the design team from the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands Project.
Over 600 stitchers volunteered to be part of this community-led project with stitching groups being formed across the region to work on individual panels. Over the past 18 months they have been sharing techniques, meeting fellow stitchers and working with the materials, much of which has been donated from local businesses, yarns and resources which has helped produce the 56 panels that are showcased in the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands.
Kirstie Campbell, professional textile artist and Stitch Coordinator for the Tapestry of the Highlands and Islands project said,
“The enthusiasm, passion and dedication of the stitchers involved in this project has been staggering. Each volunteer really has put their heart, soul and a significant amount of their own time into every panel, to get them ready to be handed over to us, over the last couple of weeks.”
“Now preparation works are underway, with help from volunteers, to get ready for the next stage of this exciting project.”
Cllr Ian Brown, Leader of Inverness City and Area and Co-chair of the Inverness Castle Project Delivery Group, said:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved throughout the key stages of this project and today, meeting the tapestry team and community stitchers again, I am still in awe at the pure energy and talent which radiates in the room.”
“The tapestry panel handover has been a pivotal moment for me as they take another step towards being on display as part of the Inverness Castle Experience, visitor attraction, in 2025.”
Cllr Isabelle (Biz) Campbell, said:
“Earlier this year, I was given such a warm welcome at the stitcher community gatherings in Loch Carron and Ullapool. Being invited back today, by Kirsty and the team, to witness the handover of the tapestry panels, in Inverness, has given me another opportunity to thank everyone involved and to wish them every success for the next stage. Well done, one and all”
Completed tapestry panels will be exhibited within the newly transformed Inverness Castle when it opens in 2025, as well as within community venues across the Highlands and Islands and online.
The tapestry is being created as part of the Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project, a partnership project between The Highland Council and High Life Highland, which is being delivered in collaboration with VisitScotland.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project will encourage visitors to explore and experience all parts of the Highlands and Islands, as well as inspiring them to attend and support festivals and events, visitor attractions and outdoor locations across the area.
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is supported by a grant from the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF), led by NatureScot and funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The Spirit of the Highlands and Islands project is part of the Inverness Castle project. The Castle, opening in 2025, will benefit from £30m investment to support its redevelopment 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.