Sector: Commercial Completion date: September 2018

The project, completed in 2018, is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Creative Scotland, Inverness City Heritage Trust and McCarthy and Stone Retirement Lifestyles Limited.

The initial £1.2 phase of the £5.7 million scheme provided high quality, affordable workspaces for 39 artists and makers.

Phase one was carried out by Robertson Northern.

The venture – a first for the region – was led by Scottish award-winning charity and social enterprise Wasps Artists Studios, which was also fundraising for work on a second building to provide exhibition, performance and events space, a public café, workshop areas and offices for business working in the creative industries.

As one of the largest developments of its kind outside the Scottish central belt, the centre is expected to play a valuable economic role by supporting jobs and providing new business opportunities.

Tenants could include everything from visual artists, theatre groups and craft makers to media companies or businesses at the cutting edge of the digital arts.

As the only creative hub in the region, it greatly improves opportunities for collaborative working, skills sharing and networking, as well as support for, and retention of, creative talent in the Highlands.

The Highlands is a region of huge talent and creativity, but many people have been held back or forced to leave because there is too little studio space. The opening of the creative academy is an important first step towards reversing this trend and helping to build the strongest and most vibrant possible creative economy.

– Audrey Carlin, Wasps Chief Executive Officer

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