Development of a new £7m+ research and development centre, alongside delivery of a specialised business support programme for SMEs, has begun on campus at Production Park.
A partnership between Backstage Academy and Wakefield Council, the project has secured £3,564,852 of grant funding from the European Regional Development Fund. Additional investment from Backstage Academy will support the development of a specialist centre for R&D, dedicated to supporting innovation within the live events industry and its supply chain.
The state-of-the-art facility will sit on the existing Production Park site on the Langthwaite Business Park and will be an anchor development for Backstage Academy. It will give SMEs access to resources and support to help them undertake product development in a purpose built environment.
“The new research and innovation centre will be a catalyst for change; not just for the global live events industry, but also in providing support and regeneration opportunities for SMEs and start-ups within the local region. This facility is the natural next step for Backstage Academy as we continue to grow our innovative portfolio of specialist vocational training courses and look to develop our own research profile as an independent higher education provider.”
said Rachel Nicholson, Head of Backstage Academy.
The 2,520m2 building will include large scale design and prototype spaces suitable for physical and
virtual environments; multi-use spaces suitable for SME workshops, presentations and meetings;
workshop space equipped with specialist equipment in areas such as rapid prototyping and additive
manufacturing; pre-visualisation suites; and design spaces where scenic artists and creative
businesses can explore new techniques.