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The Buzz Project officially launched a second venue on Fort William High Street on Saturday March 18.
Studio two was opened by newly-appointed manager Bronwyn Strachan, who was herself greatly helped by the youth project, which aims to help young people aged between 14 and 25 fulfil their potential and overcome personal barriers through music.
Anita Nicholls, a Buzz Project trustee and fundraiser, said: ‘Studio two is a place where young people can get work experience in a music venue, learning skills and building confidence.
‘We are changing the lives of young people significantly.’
In a short speech before she cut the ribbon, Bronwyn, 20, said: ‘Thank you to the Buzz Project for being here for me and other people.
‘It’s totally amazing and I hope we continue to make memories here. Thanks for helping me through dark times and being there.’
Bronwyn told The Oban Times how she first heard about the Buzz project when she was in high school.
‘I was in fifth or sixth year. I thought it was strange at first but I came to the Buzz Project’s bus. It was my dream to play violin.’
With the help of Simon Nicholls, a youth worker and violin maker, this dream became a reality.
‘I’m so happy about playing violin,’ she said. ‘I had a lot of issues and the project was a really good way to express myself and deal with them. I’ve had great memories here and today is one of them.’
Bronwyn had been volunteering with the project, which also has a studio on the Blar Mhor estate, when the manager’s position came up and she said she is ‘honoured’ to have been given the job.
The ribbon cutting was followed by a music workshop led by Dave Scott-Morgan, former lead guitarist of the Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), who also gave a performance with his new band ‘Morganisation’ that evening to round off the launch day.
Simon Nicholls has toured with ELO so he reached out to the guitarist and his new band.
Some of the young people involved in the project helped set up the launch night concert, doing the lighting and the PA system.
Mr Scott-Morgan said of the Buzz Project: ‘It’s really well organised and has great presentation.
‘It’s a really good standard, especially with the youth work.
‘It’s great to come and see what’s going on and it’s great that they have the bus to get to remote places as well.’
The concert, in which Dave and his band played a mixture of their new songs and some ELO classics, was sold out.