Inverness Creative Academy is the first large scale creative arts facility of its kind in the Scottish Highlands.
This project will save the much loved and "at risk" former Inverness Royal Academy buildings in the city centre, providing a sustainable and creative new use and an inspiring public facility.
Phase 1 of the project was completed in November 2018, transforming the former arts and science extension of the Academy site into creative workspace providing:
- 30 studio spaces for designers, artists and makers.
- A darkroom facility managed by The Inverness Darkroom.
- A large exhibition and events space in the restored gym hall.
The first artists moved into their studios in December 2018 and we are delighted to note that the studios are now 70% let, with more creative tenants moving in over January and February.
We are now fundraising for Phase 2 of the project which will provide:
- 54 workspaces for creative industries and cultural social enterprises including long term office space and flexible co working spaces.
- A public cafe within the restored, double height former assembly hall.
- Public exhibition, events and workshop spaces on two levels overlooking the assembly hall.
- Fully accessible meeting rooms and facilities for hire.
Over the coming months, we will be launching a number of fundraising initiatives to help us to realise this exciting project in full. You can find out more at the project website here: www.invernesscreativeacademy.org.uk
Once complete, Inverness Creative Academy will:
- Bring two much loved historic buildings in the city centre back into public use.
- Be accessible to all ages and backgrounds.
- Support around 700 artists/makers and 100 businesses.
- Enable 14,000+ class attendances and 40,000+ casual/leisure visits.
- Enable 109 FTE jobs.
- Retain creative talent in the Highlands and support local graduates to establish sustainable careers.
- Provide vital opportunities for collaborative working, kills sharing and networking.
- Encourage public participation in the arts.
- Contribute to the local economy and a safe, positive, healthy community.
Audrey Carlin, Wasps Chief Executive Officer said: "Scotland is a powerhouse for the arts. craft making and the wider creative industries. But people that want to base their careers, or build businesses in these sectors have faced major obstacles in the Highlands because of an acute shortage of quality workspace and of hubs that allow them to collaborate and generate new ideas.
The Creative Academy has had a great deal of support from the large creative community in and around Inverness, particularly from Highland Council, HIE, and UHI. We are very proud that this will be one of the largest projects of its kind in the whole of Scotland and we hope it will enable creative people from across the Highlands to fulfill their ambitions and dreams."
This project has been supported by the Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Creative Scotland, Inverness City Heritage Trust, the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, and McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited.
James Gibbs, Area Manager for HIE said: "Wasps is a social enterprise with an excellent track record of bringing economic benefit to cities. This facility will allow workers in the creative industries sector to share skills and ideas and promote collaboration and innovation.
HIE assisted Wasps' development to help grow a strong creative cluster in Inverness and bring new economic activity to the city centre."
This Project has been supported by: