Pos­i­tive talks on new home for Iron­works

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY CHRIS MACLEN­NAN

Bosses at the un­der-threat Iron­works in In­ver­ness have a new venue in their sights af­ter “fan­tas­ti­cally pos­i­tive” crunch talks.

The fu­ture of the venue was left in limbo af­ter shock plans re­vealed a plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion had been lodged to tear down the build­ing and re­place it with a lux­ury 162-bed city ho­tel.

The Iron­works mu­sic venue team said sev­eral op­tions are on the ta­ble but their pref­er­ence is to press for­ward with pur­su­ing an op­tion that can al­low them to re­main in the city cen­tre.

Venue di­rec­tor Caro­line Camp­bell said: “I can’t stress enough this build­ing we are in is just a shell. Ev­ery­thing in it we own and is trans­fer­able.”

She hailed a meet­ing with High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise (HIE), High Life High­land, High­land Coun­cil, Cre­ative Scot­land and David Stewart MSP – who launched a pe­ti­tion of sup­port – as a pos­i­tive in the bid to pro­tect the mu­sic venue’s busi­ness for the fu­ture. Mrs Camp­bell added: “It’s busi­ness as usual for the Iron­works and de­tails will be re­leased as soon as we know where our new space will be.”

Mr Stewart said he is “con­vinced there will be a per­ma­nent al­ter­na­tive home” for the Iron­works and its 62 staff and that he is due to meet with Cul­ture Sec­re­tary Fiona Hys­lop on Oc­to­ber 29 to dis­cuss its fu­ture.

He added that the venue is “vi­tal to the re­gion’s mu­sic scene and to its cul­tural val­ues” and has been “an in­sti­tu­tion in In­ver­ness for more than a decade”.

A fol­low-up meet­ing has been pen­cilled in for Fri­day Novem­ber 8 to dis­cuss progress.

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