8:00am Saturday 14th April 2012
SOME of the world’s biggest music stars could soon be coming to Thurrock.
Construction of the National Skills Academy Backstage Training Centre, in the High House Production Park, is expected to be complete in June.
Excitement is building as the complex begins to take shape and project co-ordinators have confirmed that some of the music industry’s biggest stars are showing interest in the centre.
Matthew Essex, a member of the High House Production Park team, was tight lipped about specific artists, but he told the Gazette: “The training centre is going to be a state-of-the-art reh-earsal and training space of which there are very few in the UK and indeed the world, so there has been some significant interest from big name acts and companies.
“The National Skills Academy board are extremely well connected and it’s through those contacts that there is interest.”
The venue will be the first purpose-built centre for developing offstage and backstage skills and training in England.
Planning permission has also recently been granted for the final piece in the Purfleet production park jigsaw to be put in place.
A purpose-built studio block will now be built alongside the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop at High House production park off London Road.
Matthew said: “We’re hoping work will commence on the studios at the end of the summer and be complete in April 2013. We’re in the process of applying for funding from the Arts Council of England.”
The block will consist of 39 artists studios and four work-live units. There will be seven large spaces on the ground floor that can be used as private studios, project spaces or for public exhibitions and events.
It is hoped that the studios will be used by artists working with a variety of fabrics, such as metals and appeal to creative types from Thurrock and the whole of the UK.
On the upper floors, there will be studio accommodation served by communal washrooms.
The project will cost in the region of £2.5million and completion is targeted for the summer of 2013.
© Copyright 2001-2013 Newsquest Media Group