Ambitious Glasgow School of Art project nearing reality

Specially commissioned painting of Blair Steadings, Altyre
Specially commissioned painting of Blair Steadings, Altyre

THE £2.5MILLION PROJECT to create a Moray campus for the Glasgow School of Art is just weeks away from completion.

Work on ‘The Creative Campus’ is expected to be completed in June with the first students likely to arrive in September.

Created on the Altyre Estate near Forres, the new buildings have been paid for through a £750,000 grant from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, £500,000 from Historic Scotland and the remainder being met by the Estate itself.

Estate owner Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming said that the last year of his life has been spend “on the coalface” – but now he just can’t wait to move on with the project. He added: “The steading was on the at-risk properties register but improving it was something I felt I had to do.”

Talks with the Glasgow School of Art began two years ago with Sir Alastair saying that they will “be very welcome tenants”.

The former Steading has been converted into an art studio, lecture halls, exhibition room and a laboratory for the famous art school – and the end product is predicted to help Moray develop an international reputation for creativity.

Art School director Tom Inns said: “This is a vital part of our national and international presence, complementing our main campus in Glasgow. The development of our presence in Forres and more broadly in the Highlands and Islands is integral to helping us achieve our aspiration to be a global leader in studio-based learning and research.”

HIE have worked with the Glasgow School of Art for the last six years, coming together in 2010 for the establishment of the Institute of Design Innovation at Forres Enterprise Park. Researchers and students are expected to move from the Forres Enterprise Park to their new base at Altyre.