Friday, July 13, 2012

Links school (of Art)?

At Tuesday’s meeting of River CC members heard from local artist Shaun MacDonald (one of the artists that uses the popular Blue Door studio facilities above the Caley) that the charity organisation that has rented that building for 17 years is now seeking to move and has been in discussion with Highland Council about buying or leasing the Links School. The organisation in question WASPS has a website here.

Shaun attended in the light of a recent letter in the Nairnshire Telegraph signed by Graham Marsden, former Highland Councillor, and Tommy Hogg, Chair of River CC, indicating that there seemed to be some haste in Highland Council bringing forward a decision on whether to sell off/ develop the Links school to August when so many people are on holiday. This observer thinks Oor Graham has a bit of a cheek in writing that letter, he had plenty of time as a member of the last ruling administration to secure a future for that building for the community but things just dragged on and on without any conclusion. Anyway Liz told the meeting that the resources committee date had been brought forward due to changes in the way committees were now organised by the new regime and the Council were aware of WASPS interest and that would be considered. 

This observer got the feeling that River CC members sort of felt, “In Liz we trust but Highland Council?”  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens but Liz said: “It’s not just about selling it or leasing it, it’s about seeing what else is available.”  Hopefully the Council committee will accept the WASPS proposal.

This observer feels that a move by the Blue Door studios down to the Links School would be an excellent development. Shaun told the meeting that there was a waiting list for studios in Nairn. The more artists that we could attract to the town then the more that would enhance the town’s reputation for supporting the arts in general. Here’s hoping that the Council go ahead and allow the Blue Door folk to move to the Links school - which incidently already has a blue door too!

Tommy did say that he had been made aware that there was another organisation interested in the Links School, the Richmond Fellowship. Liz was unaware of any formal approach by that group however.

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