Backstage Academy is located in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire. The nearest city is Wakefield, which is situated between a number of larger cities, Leeds (15 mins away), York (40 mins away) and Sheffield (50 mins away). All are easily accessible by bus and train. Wakefield offers many different forms of entertainment for students, catering for all interests both cultural and social.
Life in Wakefield
Wakefield is where most of our full-time students choose to live. The city was recently voted in the top 20 ‘arty’ places to live by the Daily Telegraph, alongside places such as Oxford, Edinburgh, Bath, Camden and Stratford–upon–Avon. It was also voted one of the top places to live in Britain by The Sunday Times. The Hepworth Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Wakefield’s very own music festival Long Division (which is crewed by Backstage Academy students) are central to this renaissance.
Backstage Academy is forging close links with key entertainment venues in Wakefield that will present you with ongoing opportunities for valuable work experience and networking. The Academy has created partnerships with Wakefield Theatre Royal, Wakefield College’s new theatre and performing arts centre, and will be working closely with the new multi-million pound Unity Hall.
Wakefield has a flourishing live music scene with venues such as The Hop and The Orangery. Further afield, Leeds Arena opened in 2013, hosting Bruce Springsteen as its opening act. The Leeds O2 Academy has had the likes of Rudimental and Tom Odell on its line up. There are also local festivals held in Yorkshire throughout the year, such as Leeds Film Festival, Long Division (Wakefield’s urban music festival, celebrating truly independent music – 70 acts play at 30 city venues each June), Crooked Ways and Tramlines, which often offer opportunities for you to gain valuable work experience.
Wakefield offers a wealth of activity to suit all interests – fans of water can try out sailing, kayaking and windsurfing at Pugneys Country Park, there’s the multi-million pound Sun Lane Leisure Centre or for adrenalin junkies looking for thrills head to Xscape in Castleford, with a 170m real snow ski slope, indoor surfing, climbing and much more. Much of Wakefield district is rural with a vast range of country parks to explore either on foot or on two wheels.
Wakefield is home to the award-winning Hepworth Gallery, the largest purpose-built exhibition space outside of London, which celebrates the work of Wakefield born artist Barbara Hepworth. Wakefield Museum celebrates the rich history of the town whilst further afield Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of the leading open air art galleries in the world. Explore the remains of Sandal Castle or visit the National Coal Mining Museum to discover the hidden world of mining through the centuries.
There is a wide range of local societies and activity clubs for you to get involved with, from Wakefield Film Society to Wakefield Sailing Club.
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to shopping. A multi-million pound regeneration project in Wakefield has seen the addition of Trinity Walk, a large shopping and leisure complex. There is a diverse range of restaurants and places to eat in Wakefield, many places offer special deals for students.