Art Fund partners with Wasps to invite community involvement in lighting project

The lights will be switched back on at one of Inverness’ most significant cultural developments this year, with the help of a major crowdfunding campaign.

Shine A Light On Creativity in the Highlands is a campaign in association with Art Happens, a crowdfunding platform run by Art Fund, and launches Thursday 6 May to raise £25,000 to acquire a feature lighting system for the main hall at Wasps’ latest development, Inverness Creative Academy.

Wasps is in the final stages of restoring the former Inverness Royal Academy. Once completed later this year Inverness Creative Academy will offer affordable spaces to meet the demands for a creative hub in the Highlands.

Inverness Creative Academy occupies two of the former B Listed Inverness Royal Academy buildings, in the historic city centre, which have produced many leading creative figures. Famous Royal Academy alumni include writer of The Guns of Navarone and Where Eagles Dare, Alistair MacLean and anthropologist and writer Dame Sue Black, with former Runrig lead singer Donnie Munro being a former teacher at the Royal Academy.

Thanks to the support of Art Fund, an independent fundraising charity, Wasps aims to raise the capital to secure the feature lighting system for the main hall in the building, which will open to the public later this year.

Wasps Chief Executive Officer Audrey Carlin: “We began this project in 2015 in partnership with the Highlands’ creative community, who helped shape the direction from the outset. There is a strong desire across the Highlands to have a creative hub of this kind, where artists and makers can work together, while providing public areas for meeting, relaxation and exhibition. The collective anticipation has grown over the years and now that we are at the point of fit-out, we are inviting those who feel a connection with the area, and possibly the building, to contribute to the lighting system which will illuminate the main hall once again and provide a powerful focal point for an important building that is beginning a new lease of life.”

The Shine A Light campaign will run from Thursday 6 May until Monday 7 June. The 30-day Art Happens crowdfunding campaign aims to raise £25,000 to cover the cost of the lighting system. In exchange, Wasps has a number of rewards planned for those who are keen to support the initiative, including unique artworks produced by its tenant artists.

To support Wasps’ Shine A Light campaign please visit and follow the hashtag #IlluminateHighlands on social media.

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