Home   News   Article

PICTURES: Inverness Creative Academy opened the second half of its project with event last week


By Imogen James


Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.



Drew Hendry MP and Audrey Carlin. Pictures: Callum Mackay
Drew Hendry MP and Audrey Carlin. Pictures: Callum Mackay

THE second half of the development houses a community and café space as well as hot desking facilities and offices for creative industries.

A £6 million transformation saw the site of the old Inverness Royal Academy building at Midmills transform into the largest creative facility of its kind in the Highlands.

Phase one was finished in 2018 which created 30 studio spaces for artists.

Artist Cecilia Mann, Rachael Smith and Molly McGhee.
Artist Cecilia Mann, Rachael Smith and Molly McGhee.

Marking the opening is a new exhibition, Home & Away, which will be on display until the end of May.

Wasps chief executive officer, Audrey Carlin, was delighted to open the building officially.

“There’s been so many people who have helped us and provided us with advice guidance and support and are now involved in the creative academy here,” she said. “It’s been about welcoming our creative tenants to the building and already we’ve had over 10,000 visitors through the door.

Lorna and Valerie Campbell.
Lorna and Valerie Campbell.

“It’s a much needed creative facility for the Highlands.

“Im sure you’d agree that we have exceeded expectation’s in a design context and it no longer feels like an assembly hall. Delivery of this during a pandemic was not something anyone could have anticipated. We’re proud of what’s been achieved.

“Thank you to all of our artists and creative tenants. This is really all about you now. But today is not just about celebrating the conversion of these buildings but it also caters to the creative talent that is here in the Highlands.

Simon and Dyane Owen.
Simon and Dyane Owen.

“On a local level, Inverness Creative Academy is here to support an already vibrant creative community and ready to play its part in attracting people to the City Centre, providing a destination to engage with art and creativity as well as to enjoy good coffee at our wonderful new café.

MSP Emma Roddick.
MSP Emma Roddick.

“On a national level, this facility is already attracting talent and exciting new creative businesses to come to, stay and grow in the Highlands, contributing to the unique identity of the region. And on a UK wide level, this facility is already inspiring and nurturing the next generation of artists and creative entrepreneurs into the creative economy, one the fastest growing economic sectors in the UK.”

Heritage remains a key part to the project, and a time capsule created by pupils of Crown Primary School is buried out the front of the buildings.

Audrey giving a speech.
Audrey giving a speech.

Drew Hendry MP added: “This is a place of enormous social importance in terms of its heritage and place in Inverness. It really is a living testament to what can be done if people with a vision get together take it forward and make it happen.

“It’s been absolutely vital for the community to support this project. It’s an important meeting space where people can come together again and share a coffee chat about their day meet friends and what a great time for this to be opening.

“This is an asset for the whole of the Highlands and art space which was really required.”

Inverness Creative Academy.
Inverness Creative Academy.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More