Mareel will be the UK's most northerly music, cinema and creative industries centre, due to open this year (2012). It is the venue for the Hansel of Film grand finale in September, the last day of the Paralympic Games and the London 2012 Festival.
Situated in a prominent quayside area of Lerwick next to the Shetland Museum and Archives, Mareel will have a live performance auditorium, two cinema screens, rehearsal rooms, a recording studio, education and training spaces, a digital media production suite, broadcast facilities and a cafe bar with free high speed wi-fi internet access.
Mareel will provide a year round programme of film, live music and other performance events. It will be a hub and a focus for the creative communities not just in Shetland but beyond, and a catalyst for the emerging creative industry sector in Shetland. Shetland Arts will manage Mareel and we have done a lot of thinking about how it will work; what will happen in the building itself, online and through outreach activity. And we’re thinking about how all our venues will co-operate with other venues and partnerships in Shetland and much further afield.
Mareel will be a unique location for live, recorded and streamed performance - world class performers playing for a great crowd will create rich digital content, and performances elsewhere can be streamed to Mareel. Drawing upon its very special remote yet well connected location, live acts will not only get to experience the inspiring seascapes and landscapes of Shetland but will get to enjoy the world renowned hospitality of Shetland people.
Mareel will provide a programme of formal and informal education, training and learning activities designed to appeal to the whole community. These opportunities include the NC Music course delivered in partnership with Shetland College UHI, evening classes delivered in partnership with the SIC (including audio technology, live sound and film production), and industry certified Pro Tools training.
Educational facilities include a multimedia production suite equipped with high spec computers and a range of creative software tools, a recording studio featuring Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Reason and Ableton Live software, rehearsal facilities and a lecture theatre (which doubles as the 2nd cinema screen). These facilities are linked together, and to the outside world, by high speed fibre optic connections. Mareel will be a situational learning environment enabling the community to gain hands on experience of a range of creative industry practices.
Design and construction
Gareth Hoskins Architects (GHA) won a national competition to design the UK's most northerly cinema and music venue in July 2006. Since then GHA and Shetland Arts have been working closely with local and national stakeholders, a team of specialist advisors and funders to deliver a state of the art venue. Shetland based DITT Construction Ltd won the contract to build Mareel and construction started in June 2009.