South Scotland

Planning application to open Inverness Castle tower submitted

Inverness Castle tower
Image caption Highland Council owns the North Tower of Inverness Castle

Highland Council has submitted a planning application to open up a look-out tower at Inverness Castle as a tourist attraction.

The North Tower commands panoramic views over the city of Inverness and the surrounding countryside.

Originally built in the 1840's as a prison, the tower is now owned by the Highland Council.

Councillor Thomas Prag said he hoped opening up the tower would help to boost visitors to the city centre.

Earlier this year the local authority joined the Scottish government in setting up a working group to look at the castle's future tourism potential.

But because the tower is owned by Highland Council it could be opened up to visitors sooner than other parts of the site.

Tourism boost

In August, Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing said for years people had been calling for the castle to be made into a tourist attraction.

Earlier this year the Inverness Courier newspaper started an 'Open the Castle' campaign to support such calls.

Chairman of the Development and Infrastructure Committee, Mr Prag said the planning application was "an important first step towards the exciting project of opening up part of the castle to tourists and to local people.

"Like many others in our city, I have been dreaming of the day we might get to do something like this.

"The tower will be an excellent attraction for tourists and will help to boost visits to the city centre."

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