Opera woos islands

January 31, 1997

THE Pavarotti Foundation has proposed setting up a classical music and opera college on the Hebridean island of Eigg.

The plan would give the University of the Highlands and Islands project a fillip.

Heinz-Dieter Kals, a consultant for the Italian-based foundation, yesterday met Highland Council officials to discuss the proposal. Eigg is owned by German artist Maruma, who is selling it for Pounds 2 million. The local community is preparing a bid in partnership with Highland Council and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Nick Reiter, council head of policy and research, said he had received a letter from Maruma supporting the Pavarotti Foundation. "However, I have drawn to their attention the complete unsuitability of Eigg as a potential location," he said. "The island is an hour's sail from the mainland, it has limited ferry links, it has only one road, it has no mains electricity, no water and sewerage, no refuse collection.

"The islanders would not wish their quiet existence to be altered or the natural environment jeopardised through the creation of a major college campus," he said.

The council's convener, Peter Peacock, said there were many other suitable sites.

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