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Sympathetic restoration in Inverness provides attractive city centre housing

Not-for-profit developer Highland Housing Association completed the sympathetic restoration of Merchant House, 51-53 Castle Street, Inverness, between July 2020 and November 2022 to create attractive housing in the city centre and bring the historic building back to life.

Merchant House –  The historic 18th century, B-listed building, located against the backdrop of Inverness Castle –  had fallen into a state of disrepair, causing an eyesore for the local community. Before HHA’s ownership, the building, which is located on one of the city’s oldest terraced streets, could only stand with the support of scaffolding.

The sympathetic restoration, made possible through a £1.2 million Scottish Partnership Support for Regeneration grant, private finance and City Region Deal funding, ensured that as much of the original building was saved where possible.

HHA’s restoration of Merchant House converted a pre-existing derelict, historic building into attractive city centre housing, creating eight much-needed rental opportunities for local residents. Merchant House’s redevelopment also has commercial space on the property’s ground floor, which has plans to house local businesses.

The repurposing of Merchant House is a standout example of how partnership working coupled with sympathetic design  restore a historic building for modern town and city centre living, driving footfall back into towns and town centres and helping to address the housing crisis.