1 Church Street officially opened
Cleveland College of Art and Design’s (CCAD) new multi-million teaching facility was officially opened (Wednesday 8 November) by Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the organisation which funds and regulates universities and higher education colleges in England.
The opening ceremony was attended by Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, Mick Hill MP, councillors and regeneration staff of Hartlepool Borough Council and College Governors, alongside partners and developers involved in the £11million project.
Professor Atkins, who was the former Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of Newcastle and Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, welcomed the impressive development, saying: “Cleveland College of Art & Design is a key player in the regeneration of Hartlepool and these exciting new teaching facilities here at 1 Church Street are further proof of this important role.
“For the past three years CCAD has had the best graduate employability of any specialist art and design provider in the UK at 96.7 percent, the result of the College’s impressive strategic focus on preparing students for creative careers.
“I would like to congratulate everyone on the continued success of the College led by the Principal Martin Raby and his senior team.”
The new building at No 1 Church Street provides 45,000 sq. ft. of teaching and administration space for degree courses such as Fine Art, Production Design for Stage and Screen, Textiles and Surface Design, Contemporary Textile Products, Photographic Practice (with Moving Image) and Film, TV and Theatre Production.
Funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority, the campus facilities include flexible studio space, two seven-metre double-height studios for photography and TV or film work, a refectory area and galley, ensuring students can access the highest level of creative industry education in the north east and across the UK for many years to come.
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor said: “CCAD has been at the heart of our creative economy for generations, and has equipped thousands of people from our region to make a difference in the arts and industry. This significant investment by the Combined Authority in this state-of-the-art facility will provide opportunities for young people in Hartlepool and the wider areas for years to come, as well as securing Tees Valley’s reputation as a centre of creativity recognised throughout the UK.”
Dr Martin Raby, Principal, Cleveland College of Art and Design, said: “I am most grateful for the support of the Tees Valley Combined Authority and Hartlepool Borough Council, without which this project would not have been possible.
“Our new building offers excellent facilities, allowing our undergraduates to excel and providing a sound foundation for their careers in the creative industries.”
CCAD was recently awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework in recognition of its outstanding quality of teaching at its university-level campus in Hartlepool, making it the top art school in the UK.
Professor Atkins added: “I am delighted that Cleveland College of Art & Design achieved a gold award in the recent national assessment of teaching excellence. This award reflects the consistently outstanding outcomes achieved by its students from all backgrounds and a satisfaction rating of over 90 percent.”
To commemorate the opening, an illustration was created of 1 Church Street by Abigail Taylor, a CCAD graphics graduate and one of the artists behind the Hartlepool landmarks, which are displayed in Hartlepool Train Station. The response from residents and students of the beautiful set of landmarks, which were commissioned by Hartlepool Borough Council, has been astounding, therefore it was felt that it was only fitting to continue capturing Hartlepool through the artist style of Abby Taylor on this momentous occasion in the history of Hartlepool and CCAD. A framed version of the illustration, which can be seen at the top of this story, can be seen in the gallery area at the front of the 1 Church Street building, which is currently showing a Sir Ridley Scott exhibition.