Plans announced for Inverness Justice Centre

Mar 04, 2016

Plans are announced today for the new Justice Centre in Inverness following confirmation from Scottish Government of funding.

Inverness Justice Centre will accommodate a range of partners working alongside courts and tribunals to provide a unique centre of community justice and support services for witnesses, victims, accused and those convicted in courts.

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) intends to build the new centre at Burnett Road, Inverness subject to all the necessary site details and planning requirements. The site is extended by the purchase of additional land from Highland Council.

Plans are to begin construction in late 2016 with the Inverness Justice Centre open for business in summer 2018.

Announcement for Inverness Justice Centre

Left – right: Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle, Tourism Minister, and co-chair of the Inverness Castle working group, Fergus Ewing, Councillor Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness, Eric McQueen, Chief Executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service


Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle said: “I am grateful to the Scottish Government for choosing and funding Inverness Justice Centre. It is deserved recognition of the efforts of everyone involved in the delivery of justice in the city.

"We have an exciting opportunity to create a pioneering, state-of-the-art justice centre, which will house justice partners and third sector organisations in the same building.

“It will deliver a range of services for offenders, providing the environment for problem solving approaches to help reduce re-offending, and offer specialist facilities, support and advice for victims and witnesses of domestic abuse, sexual violence and child abuse.”

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said:

 “I am delighted that the development of the new Inverness Justice Centre, made possible with funding from the Scottish Government, has taken a step forward today. We are now closer to delivering a facility which is accessible and modern, supporting the delivery of justice in the north of Scotland.

 “Working with SCTS and sharing space with other justice partners means the people of Inverness and the wider Highlands will have access to updated facilities and coordinated support throughout their experience with the justice system.

 “We know this is a model which works, as we have already seen in Livingston which has been hugely successful, and I look forward to seeing this new facility when it is up and running and providing benefits for the communities across Highland and beyond.”

Tourism Minister, and co-chair of the Inverness Castle working group, Fergus Ewing said:

“The plan to create a new Justice Centre in Inverness – meaning the relocation of the current court service from Inverness Castle – presents us with the opportunity to develop a world-class tourism attraction.

“Tourism is not just a key part of the local economy but a key driver of growth across Scotland and I am very keen that the Castle finds a new life that benefits the Highlands and Scotland as a whole.

 “As confirmed by a recent public consultation and meetings I have held with local businesses, there is strong support for such an attraction and as construction commences on the new Justice Centre we will be working equally hard to develop the Castle’s huge potential to attract and engage visitors from all over the world.”

Eric McQueen, Chief Executive of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service added:

“The new Inverness Justice Centre will set the standards for delivering justice in Scotland. We intend to use the skills and expertise available in the Highlands to create a design and build team to deliver this major development for Inverness.

 “We have held meetings with all potential stakeholders and the hard work starts now to bring together everyone’s requirements into a final design. It is a very exciting opportunity and will require a great deal of commitment from everyone involved in the project.

Councillor Helen Carmichael, Provost of Inverness confirmed:

“This is an exciting and long awaited day for Inverness. The new Justice Centre will not only provide a fabulous new purpose built facility, but freeing up the castle will greatly enhance the tourism opportunities for the city and wider Highlands.   This heralds the start of a really bright future for the city.”

Notes for Editors

Organisations who are involved as stakeholders and potential partners in the Justice Hub are:
Police Scotland
Witness Service
Victim Support Scotland
Highland Council Social Work
NHS Health Partnership
Citizens Advice
Inverness Women's Aid, Ross-shire Women's Aid
Faculty of Advocates
Scottish Prison Service
Scottish Legal Aid Board (Public Defenders Office and Civil/Criminal Legal Assistance Office

Police Scotland is already located next to the Justice Centre site and will not relocate but will remain very involved in the development of the Centre plans.

In 2013, the Scottish Court Service outlined in its Shaping Scotland’s Court Services Report, its vision to create Justice Centres to serve the main populations in Scotland. 
Shaping Scotland’s Court Services Report

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