New life has been breathed into a former Harris Tweed Mill on Seaforth Road, Stornoway, which is due to open in March 2012 as a Creative Industries and Media Centre (CIMC).
The £2.6m development of the CIMC recognises the employment opportunities offered by the creative sector in the Outer Hebrides, particularly those associated with Gaelic related creative content. The CIMC offers serviced office and hot desk space for creative businesses, and also provides additional office and post production space for MG ALBA.
Located within Stornoway’s ‘Media Village’ on Seaforth Road the CIMC adjoins the headquarters and studio space of MG ALBA, operators of the Gaelic digital channel, BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC.
MG Alba will fully lease and manage the CIMC on behalf of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. The ground floor of the CIMC provides office, meeting and production-related space for MG Alba staff. The first floor of the Creative Industries and Media Centre offers seven office units and 32 hot desks contained within a large open plan area, which will be available on flexible leases to small businesses and individuals working in the Creative Industries sector.
Designed by ZM Architecture, Glasgow, the main contractor for the redevelopment was John Murray and Sons, Stornoway. The buildings previous incarnation as a Harris Tweed mill is 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 the Association can 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. The building is owned by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.