Inverness Justice Centre gets green light

Sep 19, 2017

The Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS) has welcomed today’s decision by The Highland Council to approve updated plans for Scotland’s first purpose-built Justice Centre in Inverness. The justice centre will offer a range of digital and other justice services throughout the Highlands.

Design of Inverness Justice Centre

With ongoing support and funding from the Scottish Government, the SCTS is confident the justice centre will be a landmark building in the city. The updated design is more efficient in the use of accommodation and provides an attractive public space, along with improved access. The justice centre will be built on the site of a former bus depot on Longman Road adjacent to the Police Headquarters in Inverness.

Eric McQueen, SCTS Chief Executive said: “Rather than simply a replacement sheriff court building, the justice centre will play a pivotal role in changing victims’, witnesses’ and offenders’ experience of the justice system, while providing high quality secure criminal courts, and flexible accommodation for our civil courts and tribunal users.

“By bringing together the right organisations, we can all focus on problem-solving approaches to reduce reoffending and increase the opportunity for community sentencing, while providing the facilities and technology to remove the need for children to appear in court and in the longer term, digital case management for summary crime.”

In addition to the direct justice benefits, the location of the justice centre will help transform the surrounding area, with the transfer of Inverness Castle to the Highland Council ownership stimulating economic growth for the city as it works in partnership with the Scottish Government and other public bodies to develop a major tourism attraction.

Justice Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Today’s decision brings us a step closer to providing new facilities in Inverness to deliver a truly 21st century service. It reflects the Scottish Government’s commitment to deliver a justice system that is accessible, modern and fit-for-purpose.

“By co-locating the court with other justice partners, the people of Inverness and the wider highlands have access to modern facilities and co-ordinated support and service from the relevant organisations.”

Construction is planned to begin in November 2017 with contractor Robertson Northern Ltd to complete the main building works in 2019.

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