From education to employment

RSA Chief Executive Andy Haldane officially opens new £14.5m campus for The Northern School of Art

The Northern School of Art welcomed Andy Haldane FAcSS FRS, chief executive of the RSA (The Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), to officially open its new £14.5million Middlesbrough campus.    

The new campus, located in central Middlesbrough, opened its doors in September to nearly 800 students studying a range of specialist creative courses – from Saturday Club (6 to 14 years), Arts Award (14 to 16 years), A-levels, Diplomas, Access to HE and Foundation – with a further campus at Hartlepool providing degree and postgraduate qualifications.      

Andy Haldane, chief executive at the RSA, said: “Culture and the arts benefit everyone. Not only are they a key source of health and happiness in our societies, but they also bring jobs and skills and help create strong and inclusive economies.

“Encouraging young people’s creativity and empowering them to take their skills to the next level is at the heart of the RSA’s new Design for Life mission. It is a true privilege to open The Northern School of Art’s new campus here in Middlesbrough and welcome the first of many students, from early years to post-graduate level, to this fantastic facility.”

Andy Haldane addresses students and staff at the official opening event

Dr Martin Raby, Principal of The Northern School of Art, said: “It is an absolute pleasure to welcome Andy Haldane, Chief Executive of the RSA, to our new campus in the heart of Middlesbrough.    

“The RSA is a social change organisation, which believes everyone should be welcomed to participate in creating a better future. This aligns perfectly with the objectives of The Northern School of Art.   

“As a provider of specialist creative education and training for over 150 years, we have had the privilege of nurturing talented individuals from across the Tees Valley in learning the industry skills, confidence and knowledge they need to take their first steps into a range of exciting careers.

“In marking this new chapter, we remain as committed as ever to the value of creativity in our society and ensuring our new campus in the heart of Middlesbrough provides a landmark building for creativity in the Tees Valley – providing even greater access and opportunities for all.”    

Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, said: “From the likes of Mackenzie Thorpe to Sir Ridley Scott, our region has a rich history in the art, design, screen and creative sectors. I’m delighted I was able to provide £14.5million of funding for this new first-class campus. It is already inspiring students from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool to think big and continue this tradition, while revitalising Middlesbrough town centre. 

“Alongside The Northern School of Art’s Hartlepool site and its Northern Film and TV Studios, it is nurturing talent now – and will for years to come – helping them to secure good-quality, well-paid jobs doing what they love. This is all supported by our initiatives such as Tees Valley New Creatives and our – and the BBC’s – £25million investment into local TV and film production, proving there has never been a better time to stay local and go far in a creative career.” 

Middlesbrough Mayor, Andy Preston, said: “This college is amazing – the best facilities, talented students and brilliant staff – no wonder Ofsted rate it as outstanding.  I am so pleased and grateful that it’s based in central Middlesbrough.”

The Northern School of Art’s Middlesbrough campus

The Northern School of Art (est., 1874) provides specialist creative, industry-aligned courses supporting students into work in an exciting range of skill-based creative industries including architecture, stage & screen production, design for textiles and products as well as further disciplines including visual arts, digital, theatre-making, graphic design, animation, illustration, production, fashion, costume, image-making and photography.    

The School’s Middlesbrough campus was recently awarded ‘Outstanding’ for its education offer (Ofsted, 2022).

The £14.5million funding package was provided by the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority with Middlesbrough Council. Contractors and suppliers included BAM Construction, Seven Architecture, Arcadis, Jacksons Law Firm and Faithful & Gould. Further information about The Northern School of Art’s range of creative qualifications is available at

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