Creative England has invested £250,000 into the development of Production Park, as part of an ambitious project to expand its offer.
The facility, in Wakefield, is already a go-to location for the build and design of many high-profile music tours.
It also has a keen focus on education. Created to train the next generation of live industry professionals, Backstage Academy currently delivers degree level education to students in Live Events Production, Live Visual Design & Production and Stage Management and is looking to expand its range of degree courses over the next couple of years. With its base on Production Park, students get to study right at the heart of the action in a true example of industry-led education.
Outreach is also an important element of Production Park’s support for the industry. Backstage Academy will be going out on tour in England & Wales from 22nd January to talk to students about the roles available in the live events sector and the routes that can be taken to realise them. The Beat the Street tour bus will be visiting schools and venues across the country. Students will spend some time on the tour bus to gain a glimpse of life on the road, and will also get hands-on and learn the skills required to safely load-in and load-out of a venue.
Creative England’s investment will help to grow the education element by funding a new 200-capacity lecture theatre and four classrooms, as well as management offices and a social hub. This will mean Production Park can scale up its student operation, and welcome 400 students by 2019 – double the present number. They have also recently announced that Backstage Academy has embarked upon the two-year Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) process to enable them to award degrees in their own right. If approved, the university could be up and running by 2020, making it not only the first university for Wakefield but the first for live events in the world.
The expanded facilities will also allow Production Park to permanently house more supply chain companies, some of whom have a temporary base in the campus and others who will be completely new arrivals.
After a couple of months when Production Park has won Yorkshire Business Insider’s ‘Rising Star’ award and been rated as the tenth fastest-growing business in the county, the stage is certainly set for big things in Wakefield.
Creative England supports and invests in digital creative companies to finance business growth. This helps to fuel the fastest growing sector in the UK economy by financing business expansion and new products, leading to the creation of new high-quality jobs and Intellectual Property (IP).
For more information on Creative England, investments here.