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Fundraising campaign launched to switch lights back on in new Inverness creative hub

By Val Sweeney

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Audrey Carlin, Wasps Chief Executive, in Inverness's Creative Academy launching the Shine A Light campaign.
Audrey Carlin, Wasps Chief Executive, in Inverness's Creative Academy launching the Shine A Light campaign.

The lights will be switched back on at a significant cultural development in Inverness this year with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.

Shine A Light On Creativity in the Highlands has been launched in a bid to raise £25,000 to acquire a feature lighting system for the main hall at Inverness Creative Academy.

The restoration and development, at the former Inverness Royal Academy at Midmills, is being carried out by Wasps, a charitable organisation dedicated to converting redundant historically significant buildings into artist studios and creative spaces.

With the development now in the final stages, a 30-day fundraising drive has been launched in association with Art Happens, a crowdfunding platform run by Art Fund.

Once completed, Inverness Creative Academy will offer affordable spaces to meet the demands for a creative hub in the Highlands.

Wasps chief executive Audrey Carlin said the organisation began the project in 2015 in partnership with the region’s creative community which helped shape the direction from the outset.

"There is a strong desire across the Highlands to have a creative hub of this kind where artists and makers can work together while providing public areas for meeting, relaxation and exhibition," she said.

"The collective anticipation has grown over the years and now that we are at the point of fit-out, we are inviting those who feel a connection with the area, and possibly the building, to contribute to the lighting system which will illuminate the main hall once again and provide a powerful focal point for an important building that is beginning a new lease of life."

Inverness Creative Academy occupies two of the former B-listed Inverness Royal Academy buildings which have produced many leading creative figures in the past.

Famous alumni include writer of The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare, Alistair MacLean, and anthropologist and writer Dame Sue Black, while former Runrig lead singer Donnie Munro is a former teacher at the Royal Academy.

The Shine A Light campaign will run until Monday, June 7.

In exchange, Wasps has several rewards planned for those who are keen to support the initiative including unique artworks produced by its tenant artists.

To support Wasps’ Shine A Light campaign, visit www.artfund.org/illuminate-highlands.

For more details about Wasps’ creative hub in the Highlands, visit www.waspsstudios.org.uk and follow the hashtag #IlluminateHighlands on social media.

Related story: Arts project could improve lives

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