From education to employment

Dean Clough Secures Major Deal with Calderdale College for New Creative Hub

Dean Clough, the successful 22-acre business and leisure destination in Halifax, has agreed a deal to let 12,835 sq ft of state-of-the-art workspace on a new five-year lease to Calderdale College.  The College is expanding its digital creative skills hub at Dean Clough following a £700,000 Government funding boost.

The new skills hub, Mill Studios, will serve students aged 16+ with high-tech facilities for studies in film and TV production, design and editing, esports and games design. The centre will also include collaborative space for events, exhibitions and engagement with employers.

Calderdale College already occupies 2,344 sq ft of space at Dean Clough for its Creative Arts Foundation and BA Degree courses. Students benefit from engaging with practicing artists through the College’s partnership with Dean Clough Galleries and Arts Charity and have their work displayed in the renowned Crossley Gallery.

David Malone, Principal and Chief Executive at Calderdale College, said:

“We are delighted to expand our facility at Dean Clough after a long standing and successful partnership. Our students benefit tremendously from the vibrant and captivating communityat Dean Clough which is one of the most celebrated heritage and cultural sites here in Calderdale.

“The community at Dean Clough has really helped us to enhance our provision for students. Mill Studios , delivering a digital creative hub that will transform learning in this sector, and bring new courses to Calderdale along with cutting-edge facilities in the most engaging environment.”

Mill Studios, which is due to launch ahead of the next academic year as part of Calderdale’s Year of Culture 2024, has been funded by the Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF), which aims to tackle skill shortages by responding to employers’ needs and giving young people the skills to get good jobs and increase their prospects.

The College will deliver state-of-the-art curriculums, transforming the ways in which students study digital and creative courses learn and are assessed, to fill skills gaps from post-GCSE to degree-level.

Dean Clough is fast becoming a centre of excellence for education and training in the arts sector thanks to its broad offering of art galleries and curated spaces. In addition to Calderdale College expanding its creative skills hub, recent deals have also been agreed with neurodiverse student training centre, Pinc College and the Chef Benson Smith hospitality and catering apprentice training academy.

Jeremy Hall, Chairman and Managing Director of Dean Clough, added:

“We are thrilled that Calderdale College has chosen to expand its educational facilities here at Dean Clough and excited to be involved with Calderdale’s progress as a cultural centre for creative production.  Indeed, our region is fast becoming recognised as the ‘Hollywood of the North’ and Dean Clough has been host to many high-profile TV and film productions already.  

“We truly believe that a vibrant and diverse amenity and cultural experience is so vitally important in creating the environment that people want to visit and work within.  This, alongside the indisputable carbon benefits that the reuse of historic buildings brings for sustainable practice, is fundamental to attracting business occupiers.”

Dean Clough is widely recognised for its cultural offering including its unique subterranean theatre and one of the largest private art galleries in the UK. The Mills are the home of the world-renowned theatre company, Northern Broadsides whose mixed touring programme of Shakespearean productions, adapted classic plays and new writing in a northern voice have built a significant following.  

Last year Dean Clough was selected to host the ultimate awards finale for The British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) as its first venture outside of London. It also hosted award winning TV and film productions including Happy Valley, the Gallows Pole, and Marvel’s Secret Invasion, giving substance to the regions ‘Culturedale’ label.

Dean Clough is already home to around 150 businesses employing over 3,000 people. In the last fifteen months alone new deals have been secured with occupiers on more than 110,000 sq ft of space with a further 110,000 sq ft of work, office, and leisure space in discussion or under offer.

Recent highlights include the UK’s largest online florist, Prestige Gifting, taking a 10,000 sq ft HQ, a new purpose designed 8,000 sq ft gym facility for Jim-Nas-Tiks, and Pinc College supporting neurodiverse students taking 4,000 sq ft.  Greenarc Energy, SSP, And Digital, Frog, Chef Benson Smith Academy and HUBB Coffee have also helped to boost trading at Dean Clough and enhance its digital and educational excellence.

Considerable investment in renovating more of the unique spaces within the historic mill buildings has also attracted a number of independent retail operators offering beauty, health and wellbeing, and upmarket shopping. 

Dean Clough currently offers energy efficient Grade A workspaces up to 50,000 sq ft as well as serviced offices and retail units from 50 sq ft.  The destination is located on the edge of Halifax town centre, between Leeds and Manchester, and just 15 minutes from the M62 with direct train links to Leeds, Manchester, York and London.

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