Lews Castle is a final competitor in the title for Great British Buildings Restoration of the Year competition, organised by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and featured on Channel 4 television.

With stiff competition from projects across the UK, Lews Castle was named joint winner of the Victorian category, along side Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland.

The RICS judges were 'blown away' by the impressive restoration of the Gothic revival style Castle, saying: “It was such a difficult building that had been out of use for decades so finding a new use was going to be a major achievement.

“It would have been so easy to have taken a lesser route but in this instance they grabbed it by the horns and they have given a real full-blooded restoration.”

The restored Ballroom at Lews Castle

As well as being home to the recently opened Museum nan Eilean – where six of the world famous 12th century Lewis Chessmen are now on permanent display – Lews Castle boasts four restored ground floor rooms – the Ballroom, Dining Room, Library and Morning Room – which are open to the public and can be hired for a range of functions and events.

Commenting on the Castle's success in the Great British Buildings Restoration of the Year, Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said: “The restoration of Lews Castle is something that the Comhairle and the community can be very proud of.

“Reaching the final in a high profile national competition is a great accolade and coming just ahead of the holiday season, it can only help in raising the profile of our islands as a great place to visit and live.”

Back to its original glory - the Castle main ground floor corridor