The future of Inverness music venue The Ironworks could be in jeopardy following a proposal to knock it down to make way for a hotel development.
A Highland Council planning applications committee discussed a proposal of application notice (PAN) submitted by London firm Bricks Capital, who want to build a 162-bedroom hotel in the city centre.
The 1000-capacity building, the largest local venue regularly putting on live rock music, has seen acts such as Kasabian, Runrig, Van Morrison, Babyshambles, The Charlatans and Biffy Clyro perform on its stage.
The Courier reported how at the meeting Inverness Central councillor Richard Laird said: “I would also like to hear how the proposal here, with the suggestion of demolishing the Ironworks music venue, sits with the city centre development briefs with stated priorities making this city not just a place to visit, but a great place to live.”
Already, two petitions protesting the proposals have been launched – the first, at change.org, has more than 2000 signatures.
It states: “The Ironworks venue is at the heart of the thriving Inverness music and arts scene. It hosts a variety of events, bringing big names to the city of Inverness, as well as supporting local artists.
“For many local artists, the Ironworks is the first large venue they will perform at.”
A second petition at 38degrees has gathered close to 4000 names, and points out: “Inverness has a thriving music scene which would be adversely effected if the Ironworks was to be demolished to make way for a hotel. There is nowhere else that caters for large, touring bands and it would be a great shame to lose the venue and all the opportunities that come alongside it.
It adds: “It’s completely unacceptable for a London based company to monopolise on the increasing tourism in the Highlands to make a profit that will never help the local community, instead lining the pockets of hotel corporations.”
The Press & Journal reported that Ironworks box office manager Claire Lyall, said: “It is great to see how many people both locally and outwith want us to stay and want a venue for music in Inverness.
“We are receiving loads of support.”