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Highland Place Partnership - Introducing Spirit 360

Published: 27 Aug 2020

Inverness Castle from a distance set in trees, green landscape and with a body of water closer to the camera

The partners of the Inverness Castle Project – Spirit of the Highlands are pleased to announce a partnership with the Highland Place Partnership which will see £150,000 of Creative Scotland’s Place Partnership funding become the foundation for a large-scale commissioning scheme for around 360 commissions for local artists in its initial period.

The initiative, ‘Spirit 360’, will be inspired by stories gathered through the Spirit of the Highlands project.

Working with the creative and cultural sector in the Highlands, ‘Spirit 360’ will ensure a wide geographic and thematic spread, rooted within the communities of the area.

Finished work will be made available on a dedicated website and some of the works are expected to be developed further to become elements within Inverness Castle when it reopens.

This initiative will deliver much-needed funding to the creative sector in the Highlands, whilst gathering material and information critical to support the sector in future. The Spirit of the Highlands Project will be a key factor in ongoing development for the sector and region.

Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism Fergus Ewing said: “Spirit 360 is a fantastic and innovative initiative that will provide the Inverness Castle Project with an artistic interpretation of stories gathered from throughout the Highlands, whilst, more importantly, providing a direct benefit to Highland artists during these difficult times.

City Region Deal logo

“The Inverness Castle Project, is supported by funding from the Scottish Government through the Inverness and Highland City Region deal. The funding from Creative Scotland for this initiative will do even more to strengthen cultural content for Inverness Castle.”

Provost of Inverness and Area, Cllr Helen Carmichael, said: “We are delighted that the Spirit 360 project will support artists throughout the Highlands, all the more important as this sector recovers from the pandemic.

We look forward to incorporating the artists’ commissions into the development of the Spirit of the Highlands project as it progresses.”

Karen Dick, Interim Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities at Creative Scotland, said: “The Spirit of the Highlands project presents a fantastic opportunity to showcase and develop the vibrancy and breadth of creativity which exists in communities across the Highlands.

We hope that through this partnership, Creative Scotland and our partners in the cultural sector can support people and creative work in the Highlands during this difficult time.”

The transformation of Inverness Castle is supported by a £15 million Scottish Government and £3 million UK Government investment through the city region deal. It will create a gateway for Highland tourism, contributing to reinvigoration of tourism across the area and providing much needed investment for the industry as the recovery from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic begins.

The project will support economic growth throughout the Highland area, creating a sustainable, viable and “must-see” attraction that will celebrate the spirit of the Highlands.