A music, cinema and performing arts complex at North Ness in Lerwick, Mareel lies a quarter-mile (0.5 km) north northwest of the town centre. Opened in August 2012 after considerable delays, the striking contemporary waterside venue was constructed at a cost £12.1 million to the competition-winning designs of Glasgow-based architects Gareth Hoskins by local building contractors DITT Construction Ltd. Designed to serve as a hub for the creative arts, facilities including a 250-seater auditorium, two cinemas (seating 160 and 40 people respectively), a recording studio, a digital media production suite, broadcast facilities, rehearsal rooms, education and training spaces and a cafe bar. The main auditorium features wooden balconies on either side with additional seating. Musical education with be delivered in conjunction with Shetland Islands Council and Shetland College UHI.

The venue is run by Shetland Arts Development Agency on behalf of Shetland Islands Council. Mareel has attracted some controversy owing to construction delays, cost overruns and opening almost a year behind schedule. It has also caused upset due to the likelihood it will render other Council-run venues redundant. Mareel benefits from its connection to the Lerwick District Heating Scheme.

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