London’s Middlesex University has officially opened its new £80m hub for creative courses, holding a celebration of the creative industries which showcased some of the most impressive student facilities anywhere in the UK.
Guest of honour Sir John Sorrell addressed an audience which included invited professionals from the creative sector and London local government, to teachers from schools and colleges all over the capital.
Thousands of British and international students will now benefit from some of the UK’s most impressive facilities for subjects ranging from fine art, graphic design, interior design, fashion, photography and 3D animation through to multimedia, TV and film. The building is home to around 3000 students, who can take advantage of features like two state of the art TV production studios and one of the best equipped digital darkrooms in the UK.
Sir John Sorrell, now with a hectic schedule which includes advising the Government on the creative industries alongside his work with the Sorrell Foundation, told the audience that he was first inspired to follow a creative career when his school art teacher asked if he wanted to attend Saturday art classes at the famous Hornsey College of Art (now Middlesex University).
He told guests about the importance of UK universities: "It's unique in the world, this arts infrastructure we have. They (universities) don’t just feed our creative industries - which are the envy of the world - but our education system is absolutely at the heart of their success."
Sir John, who described the Grove centre as "amazing" also had a message for students: "The world is absolutely open to you. It isn't just the UK it's the entire world and when I travel promoting British creative industries, they want what we do all over the world."
Event guests also saw music, dance and fashion performances including a live link to the centre's TV studio with a band projected onto a huge screen in the atrium where guests were gathered.
Along with a 'style-a-thon", where students created and modelled clothes in real time, members UK dance group Flawless also attended to choreograph a street dance performance.
Middlesex Vice Chancellor Michael Driscoll said: "The Grove is all about creating opportunities for students to launch great careers and for our staff to develop in an inspiring environment. Middlesex already has a strong reputation for creative courses but this facility is further proof that we mean business."