Highland Council welcomes resumption of construction work



Works will be restarting on council house build projects throughout the Highlands and the restoration of two iconic buildings following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites in Scotland, the local authority has confirmed.

The Highland Council said that plans have been drawn up for restarting construction works at Inverness Town House and Nairn Courthouse which have been on hold since March.

In accordance with national guidance, the contractor is following the six-step construction restart plan which will mean a “soft start” on both sites to ensure the safety of all workers. 

The majority of the work at both sites will be external but as both buildings are currently not in use, access for internal works will also be facilitated. 

Both projects are being managed by the council’s property team. Design and supervision are being provided by LDN Architects and the works are being undertaken at both sites by Laing Traditional Masonry

The Inverness Town House restoration project is in its third and final stage for the A listed building. Phases 1 and 2 were spread over a three year period and included external fabric repairs to the outer stone envelope as well as rot repairs and the re-slating of the roofs including new lead valleys, gutters and flashings. Phase 3 works involve full stone repairs and replacement, mortar re-pointing, guttering and window repairs and replacement.

The Inverness Common Good Fund owns Inverness Town House and the refurbishment works are being funded by the Inverness Common Good Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

Provost of Inverness Helen Carmichael said: “Everyone is keen to see work start up again on the final stage of what has been a very important project to safeguard the Town House building for many generations to come. A lot of careful planning work has gone on over the last few months in order for us to get to this stage of being able to resume work so I would like to thank everyone involved. The final work needing to be completed is in sight so I look forward to seeing the team back on site.”

The Nairn Courthouse project is in its final phase. The scaffolding will be reducing in height once the viewing tower windows are installed and leadwork is completed at the clock and parapet level. 

External lighting will be installed which will highlight the refurbished tower and stonework and 2 flagpoles will be installed to the front façade of the building. 

Chair of the Nairn Committee, Cllr Tom Heggie, said: “The Courthouse is a much-loved building in the heart of the town. It’s great news that this highly skilled restoration work is to resume and I look forward to the tower being brought back to its former glory.” 

Soft starts on site will start this week on council housing build projects in Inverness at Torvean, Academy Street and Slackbuie, and also in Fort William at Upper Achintore former school and in Dingwall High Street.

Chair of the council’s development and infrastructure committee, Councillor Trish Robertson, welcomed the news that work was to start up again.

She said: It is great news not just for the families waiting to move into new homes, but it is also good news for the Highland construction industry and all associated trades. Providing top quality affordable housing remains a priority of the council and over the next few weeks work will start on more sites throughout the Highlands to deliver over 300 new council homes.”

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