Plans submitted for new campus at Waterfront House

Yesterday we submitted a planning application to develop Wakefield’s Waterfront House into a residential training facility

Yesterday we submitted a planning application to develop Wakefield’s Waterfront House into a residential training facility, to Wakefield City Council.

Waterfront House is a commercial building on Thornes Wharfe opposite the Hepworth Gallery near Wakefield City Centre that has become available in recent times.

The regeneration project would see the property offer three training suites, a canteen and accommodation for around 55 students, providing eight new jobs and an economic boost to local businesses.

Our search for an additional campus location represents a critical step in our continued growth and ultimate goal of establishing our own University in Wakefield in the near future.

Plans have been designed to bring the property back into full use whilst causing minimal alteration to the building. Most changes will take place internally, with the exception of a small-scale extension over the existing flat roofed extension at the front and the provision of a lift shaft to the rear of the property.

Backstage Academy Founder Adrian Brooks said: “Just four years after launching our first ever degree course, we expect to welcome almost 200 students to the Academy in the Autumn for the FdA Live Events Production, BA Top Up Live Events Production and BA Visual Production courses, that are all validated by The University of Bolton.

“Feedback from students indicates there is a clear requirement for accommodation to be provided and this is essential for us to continue recruiting in the future.

“We will continue to provide the shared housing option through our partnership with Lindley Simpson, but Waterfront House will allow us to offer on-campus accommodation for those people that are looking for more of a student community environment.

“The new development at Waterfront House, which we intend to re-name Hepworth House, will bring life to an otherwise vacant property, place the students in the heart of the city of Wakefield, and bring footfall to local businesses.”

Michael Townsend, of Townsend Planning Consultants who are agent for the application, said: “This application is an important step forward in the establishment of a University in Wakefield, which would have major benefits in improving the education, training and skills in the District, delivering significant economic benefits.”

Based at the LS-Live arena rehearsal facility in South Kirkby, we offer degree courses in technical production and the creative arts, which are validated by The University of Bolton and pioneering in their links with industry.

We have already invested in the restoration of Unity Hall in Wakefield, which has facilitated the creation of a new campus for our BA Visual Production students this year, alongside an 800-capacity live music venue.

We have received positive feedback throughout consultation with the Council and subject to consent being achieved, the redevelopment is scheduled for launch in September 2015.

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