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Music venue closer to new premises after crunch meeting

Venue operators believe an alternative location could work for musicians and staff.

The Ironworks needs to relocate.
The Ironworks needs to relocate. Google 2019

A music venue has moved a step closer to moving into new premises after talks with movers and shakers.

A hotel is being planned to replace The Ironworks in Inverness, leaving the venue with little time to relocate.

However, its director Caroline Campbell said a commitment to supporting the music business has encouraged her to investigate a potential new home.

Ms Campbell believes an alternative could work for her network of musicians, bookings and 62 staff.

She said: "I can't stress this enough when I say this building we are in right now is just a shell. Everything in it we own and is transferable.

"I invested heavily in new equipment and that was done deliberately so it could be movable. 

"It's business as usual for The Ironworks and details will be released as soon as we know where our new space will be."

The meeting was arranged by the Labour MSP David Stewart on the back of his campaign to find a new home for the venue.

'I can't stress this enough when I say this building we are in right now is just a shell. Everything in it we own and is transferrable'
Caroline Campbell

Highland Council's executive chief officer Stuart Black said the authority was "very keen to see The Ironworks remain in the city centre".

James Martin, head of development at High Life Highland, agreed to supply Mrs Campbell with costs and crowd-capacity figures for his charity's network of buildings.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise also gave a commitment to investigate the kinds of support it could provide.

Creative Scotland is also involved in the relocation effort while MSP David Stewart, has secured a meeting with culture secretary Fiona Hyslop to discuss the matter.

He said: "It's been an institution in Inverness for more than a decade, contributing in so many ways without the backing of any public funds and I think it is time the Scottish Government started to recognise the good work it is doing.

"But for me, one of the most positive things that came out of the meeting, is we know there are levers we might be able to pull on to secure it a new home."

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