There has been a ‘a high level of interest’ from companies looking to use the new Creative Industries and Media Centre on Seaforth Road, writes Michelle Robson.
The £2.6m centre was completed for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar last month and they are confident that the building will now be well used.
A spokesperson for the local authority said they were delighted with the interest shown.
“In addition to MG Alba, who will take over the lease and facilities management of the whole building, there are at least three creative media businesses ready to take up residence in the new facility.
Final installation of broadband network connectivity is due for completion at the end of May. A programme for marketing and promotion of the new facility is currently being developed.”
The centre has been built on the site of a former Harris Tweed Mill in an area which had fallen into disuse.
The Centre offers 1000sqm of serviced office and desk facilities for lease to businesses and freelancers and will also provide additional office and production-related space for MG alba, the Gaelic Media Serivce.
MG Alba will operate the building on behalf of the Comhairle.
First tenant of the building, Kenny Stewart, from independent production company Moja Ltd. has been pleased to access accommodation within the CIMC, commenting: “As an independent company working in the media industry it’s going to be of great value for me to have access to the facilities and office accommodation here, and to be able to benefit from close working relationships and opportunities with others in the sector.”
Designed by ZM Architecture, Glasgow, the main contractor for the redevelopment was John Murray and Sons, Stornoway, who together ensured the building’s previous incarnation as a Harris Tweed mill was reflected in the signage and fit out of the centre, which includes office chairs upholstered in Harris Tweed.
The development has also significantly enhanced community facilities in the area. Newton Residents Association, previously located at Seaforth Road, have benefited from a new distinct facility at the far end of the development, which includes office, kitchen and meeting space, increasing the services on offer to local residents and user groups.
The project was funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, whilst the building itself is owned by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.