Developers seeking to tear down a beloved Inverness music venue to make way for a luxury hotel will lodge their plans today.
Brick Capital want to demolish the Ironworks and replace it with a 162-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel.
Now the firm has confirmed it is ready to lodge their plans after seeking guidance from council planning officers – with revisions carried out to protect the skyline.
The building has been shaped to offer greater views of church spires, including Old High Church.
It is understood Bricks Capital have told the Ironworks team that they continue hosting music events, and honour its existing schedule, until the end of the year.
Caroline Campbell, director of the venue, said the company have been aware of the development since initial talks began and insisted it was “business as usual” for now.
She said: “We are now looking at the next strategic phase for the business and are actively engaged in assessing the options available to us going forward.
“It’s been a genuine privilege to play a key role in the development of Inverness’s night-time economy and augment the diversity of infrastructure already active in the city.
“Everyone at Ironworks is incredibly proud to have brought some of the largest acts in the global marketplace to Inverness across this time range and we will offer further updates to our audience as we are in a position to do so.”
She expressed her gratitude to all involved over the past 12 years for their “incredible support”.
Allan Davidson, chief operating officer of Bricks Capital said he was “delighted” to be moving forward with the hotel plans.
He said: “Our aim, given a fair wind in the planning process, is for the hotel to open in 2021 and be a further positive step in the council’s efforts to regenerate Academy Street.”
Bricks Capital intend to retain the hotel rather than sell it off, and Mr Davidson intends to personally oversee the construction and operation of the project in his home city.
The creation of the hotel is to employ approximately 90 people during the construction phase, with 65 jobs created permanently once open.
Bricks Capital estimate 100,000 guests will visit the hotel each year, which they say will provide an “economic stimulus for the city centre”.
The hotel will also include a 24-hour gym at the Rose Street side of the building.
Petitions were set up by music lovers from across the north in a last-ditch bid to save the music venue against the development in August.
A public consultation event took place last autumn, and Mr Davidson claimed the developers were “significantly encouraged” by the response.
Matt Cooper, who set up a petition against the proposed development replacing the music venue, last night said he felt there were “hundreds of other sites” that could be developed.
Mr Cooper said: “Obviously this has come as a shock and as like others I remained hopeful that the venue would be retained due to its importance to people.
“It seems this is building a hotel for the sake of building rather than improving the general area.
“We don’t have any dedicated music venues so it is a shame.”
To date the petition has more than 3,300 signatures in support – click here to view.