Production Park pledges £20,000 to fund degree courses and opportunities for disadvantaged young people.
Production Park, a unique cluster of live event based companies in Wakefield, has announced it will fund university places at its industry leading training centre Backstage Academy, making an initial pledge of £20,000 per academic year.
The Backstage Academy Bursary Fund will provide a fully funded three-year place on one of the Academy’s BA courses to an outstanding candidate who wouldn’t usually consider university as an option. Funds will also be available for part-funded places and support for accommodation costs.
In addition, a percentage of the fund will be allocated to provide assisted places on Backstage Academy’s outreach programmes, delivered in local communities to educate and inspire those currently disengaged with traditional education, or in need of rehabilitation into a workplace environment.
The group says the investment is just the beginning of its long-term social mobility strategy designed to support disadvantaged people into education and help them pursue a career in the industry.
Alongside study, successful Bursary applicants will take part in a work placement and mentoring scheme, incorporating all Production Park’s companies; Brilliant Stages, Litestructures, Perry Scenic, LS-Live and Cato Music.
Students will gain essential skills in set design and build, scenic décor, sound, lighting and visuals, alongside an array of industry recognised accreditation.
Production Park Lee Brooks said: “We feel a collective responsibility to reach underprivileged people in society who may not otherwise consider higher education. We want to provide them with the inspiration and financial support needed to help them pursue a career in the live events industry. Working towards the shared goal of delivering a live event is great for building teamwork, resilience and problem-solving skills; all essential life-skills that could enable many young people to have brighter futures across the variety of careers on offer.”
Glen Rowe, MD of Backstage Academy, commented: “We are thrilled to receive the backing of Production Park to fund degree course places and are excited about the prospect of making a real difference to the lives of young people who otherwise wouldn’t consider higher education as an option. We offer a very supportive environment at Backstage Academy and recognise people’s differing abilities and needs.”
Production Park says it aims to set a precedent with its commitment and invites other industry businesses to get involved in supporting the next generation. Companies can contact Sara Gleadhall to discuss financial investment, mentoring, work placements or other ways of getting involved: firstname.lastname@example.org / 01977659880