Glasgow School of Art expands into Highlands

Construction workers replace the roof of Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building. Picture: John Devlin
Construction workers replace the roof of Glasgow School of Art's Mackintosh Building. Picture: John Devlin
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AROUND 20 arts teaching and research jobs will be created in the Highlands alongside new opportunities for students under a £10 million expansion by Glasgow School of Art.

GSA is joining with development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) to strengthen the region’s reputation for creativity, innovation and expanding use of digital technology.

The partnership will directly support an estimated 20 new jobs and sustain a further 10 existing posts.

Professor Tom Inns, director of Glasgow School of Art, said: “The new campus will build on the work that has been done through our Institute of Design Innovation in Forres, including the Digital Health Institute, and will open up further opportunities for students and businesses in the Highlands.”

Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam, who has led the development for Glasgow School of Art, said: “We will help to unlock and attract creative talent and support for businesses and communities enabling them to flourish across the region and globally.

“The Glasgow School of Art is recognised as one of Scotland’s greatest creative assets. We are delighted to be part of the fabric of the Highland and Islands, and collectively to make a difference to how we work, live and study.”

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Highlands and Islands Enterprise chief executive Alex Paterson said: “As well as introducing local access to a range of academic subjects which complement those being delivered by the other universities operating here, the GSA’s key strengths in innovation, digital technology and applying creativity and cutting edge design will support the expansion of important growth sectors, including creative industries and life sciences.

“It also opens up opportunities for communities in our fragile areas to tap into the GSA’s expertise to help develop creative ideas to improve rural resilience - for instance through developing traditional and cultural assets.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “This latest joint venture with Highlands and Islands Enterprise will build on an already successful partnership that has delivered employment and learning opportunities in the Highlands through the Institute of Design Innovation.

“It is particularly impressive that, despite the enormous challenges the GSA has faced after last year’s fire, it is continuing to move forward with confidence.

“Working with HIE to commit such a large amount of funding to this expansion is a sure sign of a strong future.

“Not only will this substantial investment open up new opportunities for students in the Highlands and Islands, it will also allow local businesses and social enterprises to draw on the GSA’s substantial expertise, thereby contributing to economic growth in the region.”

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