Inverness creative hub tipped to help local artists flourish

Wasps CEO Audrey Carlin and main contractor Robertson’s operations director Ian Phillips

LDN Architects and Robertson Northern have teamed up to help create the first major arts hub in the Highlands.

The two-phase Inverness Creative Academy project aims to provide local artists, makers and creative companies with the facilities they need to flourish.

Wasps Artists’ Studios is behind the development, which will see two listed buildings in the centre of Inverness being saved and reused. The £2.2 million Phase 1 has seen the restoration and transformation of one of the empty B Listed Midmills buildings, near the city centre, to create 39 studio spaces and an exhibition area. Phase 2 will give a new future to the second building.

Ian Phillips, operations director of main contractor Robertson Northern said, “Working on a Grade B listed building and restoring it to its full capacity and function was challenging but one that the team approached with an acute level of attention to detail and sensitivity towards the building itself. The Inverness Creative Academy has been a great project to work on and we are delighted by the results – especially as it has brought an iconic and historic building in the heart of Inverness back into use.”

Stuart MacKellar, partner at LDN added, “It has been a pleasure to have had a lead role in the transformation of the former Inverness Royal Academy for use by Wasps. The buildings presented challenges that demanded creative and hardworking responses from Wasps and the design team, the result of which, we hope, is something befitting of the attitude and quality of the original architecture.  With the buildings now in use, the sense of community that Wasps is nurturing at Midmills is tangible and it is clear that its reach will stretch far beyond the site boundary. We are looking forward to the second phase.”