Inverness Justice Centre
Inverness Justice Centre is the new operating centre for the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (SCTS).
The first purpose-built justice centre in Scotland is now fully operational, designed to ensure the justice system is fit for purpose and accessible to all. Situated on the site of a former bus depot next to Police Scotland’s Highlands and Islands headquarters, this state-of-the-art facility boasts modern court and tribunal facilities, including four new criminal courts and two civil courts with offices, reception areas, catering, waiting areas and meeting rooms over two floors.
Designed by Reiach and Hall Architects and constructed by Robertson Group, this £25 million landmark facility, which began construction in 2017, brings together justice partners and provides improved and integrated facilities for organisations that support victims, witnesses and litigants. Each court room is equipped with the latest digital technologies to enhance the experience for users of the justice system, which changes the face of justice by removing the need for vulnerable witnesses to appear in court in person. This proved particularly advantageous during the coronavirus pandemic, and Scotland’s first virtual sheriff court summary hearing took place at the centre in 2020.
This project has also brought wider economic benefits to Inverness and the surrounding communities through the redevelopment of a large brownfield site. The Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service has vacated its former premises at Inverness Castle, which in turn is to be redeveloped into a tourist destination, stimulating economic growth for the city.
Robertson Group received the award for ‘most considerate site’ at the Considerate Constructors Scheme National Site National Awards 2020, for being one of the highest-performing construction sites in the UK when measured against the scheme’s code of practice. The scheme monitors how considerate the site is towards the local community, environment and workforce.
Currie & Brown has been involved with the centre from the outset. At the business case stage, Currie & Brown was engaged as project manager by the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service and acted as NEC3 project manager during the construction stage. Currie & Brown also provided principal designer services on the project, which was delivered via Scape Group's National Major Works framework (now Major Works Scotland).
David Currie, SCTS’ director of property and services, commented: “The SCTS is delighted to have successfully delivered its first Justice Centre in Scotland, on time and to budget. This is testimony to the professional advice and guidance we received from Currie & Brown in their role as NEC3 project manager and principal designer on the project and the collaborative approach with our local management teams and external stakeholder groups.”