We Explore Innovative Practices in the Creative Industries.

At Backstage Academy we engage with theoretical, applied, pedagogic and policy-based research and innovation. 

We work with industry and educational partners to explore innovative practices within the creative industries, alongside our world class live events campus and multidisciplinary community at Production Park.

Introducing the Backstage Innovation Hub

The Backstage Innovation Hub Project is a partnership between Backstage Academy and Wakefield Council that will see the creation of a specialist knowledge and innovation Hub focusing on research and development (R&D) for the live events industry and its supply chain.


Located on campus at Production Park, the Backstage Innovation Hub and its specialist equipment will be used to deliver a support programme targeting SMEs across the live events industry, covering specialisms such as music, TV, film, sports, corporate events, theatre and arts. 


The project, which runs from 2019 until 2022, is part financed by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the project team has secured £3,564,852 of grant funding from ERDF to support the delivery of this project. 

The Backstage Innovation Hub will include:

  • Large scale design/prototype spaces suitable for testing, modelling and building both physical and virtual environments.
  • Multi-use space 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 where new products, stage sets and other large structures can be built and modelled virtually, together with systems control, prior to full manufacturing.
  • Design space where scenic artists and creative businesses can try new techniques including automation, augmented reality and virtual reality tools.


Project Aims

The Backstage Innovation Hub will:

  • See the design and build of a 2520m2 specialist knowledge and innovation centre located at the heart of Production Park.
  • Deliver a range of activities to SME’s in the live events industry and related supply chain industries such as digital integration and visualisation, immersive spaces, augmented and virtual reality in production; tools and standards for touring production, manufacturing processes, new materials applications and testing and cross-market application in live events work flows.
  • Identify cross sector opportunities with SME’s in other sectors.
  • Deliver specific lecture/engagement events, offer access to specialist concept/design support, make available workshop space and meeting space/event space, provide access to international trade/industry events and facilitate student projects that support the industry.


Current Opportunities:

Principal Designer / Project Manager / Cost Consultant


We are now looking to contract a Principal Designer / Project Manager / Cost Consultant as part of the Backstage Innovation Hub project.


Interested parties should email the project team at backstageinnovationhub@wakefield.gov.uk to express their interest and request tender documents before 25/03/2020. All parties are asked to provide the name of their organisation, registered address, contact details, a named contact and the contract you are interested in.


If you have any queries on this contract, please direct them to the project team at backstageinnovationhub@wakefield.gov.uk before midnight on 20/03/2020. 


The deadline for submitting tenders for this contract is 23:59 on 25/03/2020. Any tender submissions for this contract received after this date will not be considered. 

Project Partners

Expression of Interest Form

If you are a business in the live events industry and interested in working with Backstage Academy on this project, please complete the form below and we will be in touch with further information.

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The information you provide will be used to communicate with you about Backstage Academy and the Research & Innovation Centre. You can review or change your communication preferences at any time by clicking the link in emails you have received from us. Your information will be held securely, never shared with third parties, and always managed in accordance with the Data Protection Act (2018). For more details, please view our privacy policy (link below). Should you have any questions about this form please email enquiries@backstage-academy.co.uk

Find out more

For more information about the Backstage Innovation Hub including ERDF specific outcomes, please visit the Wakefield First: Innovation website. 

Ready to start your Backstage journey?