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Your Views: Hotel plan for Inverness music site recommended for approval

By Gregor White

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An artist's impression of the new hotel planned for the site of the Ironworks.
An artist's impression of the new hotel planned for the site of the Ironworks.

Readers respond to the news that council planners are recommending a bid to create a new hotel on the site of the Ironworks venue is approved.

So Highland town planners have recommended for approval to demolish the iconic Ironworks music venue and, in its place, construct a seven storey, 155 bedroom hotel.

South Planning Committee councillors, you have it in your power to stop this incredulous development happening.

Why is the Ironworks so important to the Highland economy ? Is it because so many people travel from all over the country to attend gigs, book hotels, eat out, drink out etc? A well-known local economist states the loss of the Ironworks clearly outweighs the benefits of another new hotel.

The Ironworks has seen some wonderful acts over the years – superb bands, top class DJs, and always encouraging local talent. Only recently a local DJ who started out at the Ironworks had his music played on Radio 1.

Events like boxing, wrestling, bingo, variety shows etc all take place at the Ironworks, the talent so rich and varied it would be sacrilege to lose it .

Highland Council’s Moray Firth Development Plan’s principal aim is a “Town Centre First” and any new developments must not damage the vitality of the town centre.

Well, if knocking down the Highlands’ main music venue and replacing it with a seven storey hotel isn’t damaging the vitality of the city centre, I don’t know what is.

Councillors, ask your constituents what they would prefer – another new hotel or the Ironworks to stay put.

In my opinion the Ironworks is indeed iconic, known far and wide for quality entertainment all year round so, councillors, do the right thing for Inverness – tell Bricks Group Developments the Ironworks stays.

Douglas Lyall

Eilean Donan Road


“If approved this (will) confirm Inverness is a town playing at being a city! We will be a city without a venue capable of hosting any decent sized music events! If the planners had any thoughts about enhancing ‘the city’ they would encourage venues that attract tourists, not turn our main city centre locations into hotels! Soon there will be nothing to do in Inverness centre and once the tourists have ‘seen the monster’ they won’t come back! We’ll be left with a centre of tired hotels and people saying Inverness is boring as there’s nothing to do! So how much money will this redirect to Glasgow and Edinburgh as we’ll all need to head there to see decent bands? Instead make Inverness a city people will want to come to to be entertained and enjoy all we have to give! There’s hundreds of areas to locate hotels! This is sheer madness! We’re becoming a town with nothing for anyone not interested in spotting red deer to do! Hotels and HMO accommodation – magical Inverness!” – Steve Raeburn

“I really hope the right decision is made. Save The Ironworks Venue. We don’t need another hotel, we do need a city centre music venue. Highland Council do the right thing for the Highlands.” – Linda Anne Wilson

“Linda Anne Wilson I agree with most of that (the Ironworks certainly needs to stay, in some way). No way should Ironworks be demolished for a hotel! Plenty other sites could be found, I’m sure. But Inverness badly needs more hotel rooms – it is nigh on impossible to find a room over the summer and even more so one that’s reasonably priced. Tourism is, arguably, the biggest industry in the Highlands and lack of accommodation is a big issue. I’ve noticed a lot of tourists about this year (seems to be Americans/Canadians just now). The local economy needs tourism and it’s been severely battered over recent times. Overpriced and scarce accommodation is a drag on that.” – Andy McIvor

“I get that we need tourists to boost our local economy but with the unbelievable amount of houses being built in and around Inverness, shouldn’t the Highland Council be doing more for the locals? A bigger live music venue is definitely needed. Also while I’m at it...more schools and another hospital.” – Monica Douglas Cormack

Letters should be sent to newsdesk@hnmedia.co.uk Please include your address and a daytime telephone number. You can also tweet us: @InvCourier or leave us a message on Facebook: @invernesscourier

Related article: Plan to turn the Ironworks into a hotel recommended for approval

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