Union Court is a development designed to transform and regenerate one of the busiest areas of Inverness city centre.
Featuring the sympathetic restoration and preservation of listed buildings, including one of Scotland’s earliest steel-framed buildings, it showcases the work of local tradesmen and contractors.
Union Court has been developed by Swilken Estates, which is headed up by Stuart Pender. Stuart is Executive Chairman at Lomond Capital, a former Chief Executive at Paymentshield and he previously held senior positions at Prudential, Scottish Amicable and Bankhall. Inverness-based IBI Joiners acted as principal contractors, and the eagerly anticipated development was completed early in 2023.
Four of the units will be accessed from Union Street and two via atmospheric Baron Taylor’s Street. The units benefit from a fully enclosed service corridor which offers access to bin stores to Baron Taylor’s Street.
Union Court enjoys a fantastic location at the very heart of Inverness, just a stone’s throw from all the amenities you’d expect to find in a bustling city centre.
This landmark retail development occupies an enviable location less than 200 metres from Inverness railway station, which provides a direct service to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as a regular sleeper service to London. Union Court is also situated a mere 300 metres from the city’s main bus station. The units are within walking distance to a host of other retailers and local banking providers including Barclays, Virgin Money, HSBC, Blacks and Marks & Spencer.
A tourism hotspot
As the Capital of the Highlands and Islands region, the City of Inverness is the key retail and commercial centre for the north of Scotland. Inverness has a resident population of over 60,000 and a wider catchment of a quarter of a million people. Inverness’s location at the north end of the A9 links it to Perth and the Scottish motorway network to Glasgow, Edinburgh and the South.
Inverness Airport lies 10 miles east of Inverness city centre, offering daily services to the major UK airports and outlying Islands including the Western Isles.
The gateway to the Highlands and Islands, the City of Inverness is one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations, bringing high year-round footfall to the city centre. In 2019 there were 2.7 million overnight tourist visits to the Highlands, while 9.6 million tourists made a day trip to the region. Overnight visitors attributed to 11.5 million bed nights and a total spend of £1.6bn in 2019.
With three of the top ten paid tourist attractions in Scotland – The Glenfinnan Monument, Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness by Jacobite – within easy reach of Inverness, it is a popular base for tourists exploring these and other world-renowned destinations such as Culloden Battlefield and the Isle of Skye. It’s easy to see why Lonely Planet named the Highland region one of its Best in Travel 2019.
The Highland Capital’s popularity has grown further since it was named as the starting point for the North Coast 500, which has been voted one of the world’s top coastal touring routes.
Visitors flock to Inverness year-round to sample the plethora of world class golf, fishing, outdoor activities and whisky found nearby.
A truly historic location
Union Street, Inverness on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on 22 June, 1897. Joseph Cook Collection, Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, High Life Highland.
Constructed in 1863, when Union Street was first laid out, the buildings at number 1-17 soon became one of the city centre’s most prestigious addresses. It was the realisation of a vision of a grand, modern thoroughfare for Inverness that accommodated shops and offices.
In 1935, Young & Chapman drapers took over the three existing shops on the premises and created a larger single store. Benzie & Miller assumed occupancy in 1952 before House of Fraser took over that business in 1957. This established the site as a popular department store. Later rebranded Arnotts, the store played a central role in Inverness life until it closed in 2003. Thereafter, the site was again subdivided into a handful of smaller retail spaces.
Representing a significant redevelopment opportunity, Union Court will breathe new life into Union Street and Baron Taylor’s Street, seeing six unique, high quality retail units created at ground floor and basement level.