@LeedsCityColl has unveiled its 200-seater Chroma-Q Theatre at Quarry Hill, which has been kitted out by leading international supplier A.C. Entertainment Technologies. This state-of-the-art facility completes the building of the new £60m Quarry Hill Campus.
The lights were officially turned on in spectacular fashion, at a celebration event held this month. Representatives from Leeds City College and the wider Luminate Education Group, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), A.C. Entertainment Technologies and Leeds City Council, enjoyed a taste of things to come in the new theatre that will be used by students and local partners that include the Leeds Playhouse and Leeds College of Music.
Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, the £60m development is located at Eastgate and is a stone’s throw away from the BBC and Northern Ballet theatre.
The campus is the new home for Leeds City College’s biggest schools, the School of Creative Arts and the School of Social Science. It is also providing additional learning space for Leeds College of Music.
Leeds City College is one of the country’s largest further education providers, with over 20,000 students – 3,000 of whom are based at Quarry Hill.
The project received £33.4m from Leeds City Region Growth Deal, delivered jointly by the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).
Richard Lee, Head of Media and Performance Production said: “We want to create learning environments where students can achieve their full potential, stretching their creativity and preparing them for the work place. For this reason, there is a significant amount of investment going into the college’s campuses. This includes offering industry-standard contemporary facilities which allow students to get practical experience and develop the knowledge and skills needed to work in their chosen industry.”
In recent months, the School of Creative Arts announced a new partnership between its Media, Music and Performance Production department and A.C. Entertainment Technologies (AC-ET).
AC-ET will support Theatre Design and Production Level 3 students by running masterclasses on key industry professional equipment technologies. A host of other support initiatives are currently being developed with Leeds City College.
Jonathan Walters, who heads AC-ET’s Northern sales office in Leeds, said: “We are extremely proud to be supporting a leading education provider such as Leeds City College, which now offers one of the best-equipped technical theatre learning facilities in the country.
Having been involved with the college for many years, we are really excited by the opening of the Quarry Hill Campus and the new Chroma-Q Theatre, which is named after one of the performing arts industry’s most respected lighting brands.”
Built by leading development property company Wates, construction work for the major development began in July 2017 and includes TV and media suites, photography and dance studios, a costume workshop, newsroom and gallery spaces, science labs, practical carer suites, nutrition training kitchens, outdoor working spaces, lecture theatres, and a complementary therapy room. It also has new recording studio facilities for music courses.
Colin Booth, CEO of Luminate Education Group, said: “This marks a significant milestone for Leeds City College which is a big part of Luminate Education Group.
“Having celebrated our bicentenary a few months ago, every single achievement is testament to the hard work and vision we have as a group, to be the leading education institution in the West Yorkshire region and in the country.
“This new building offers a first-class educational experience and we are committed to offering innovative and creative learning spaces that cover a number of industries including healthcare, social care, childcare and the creative arts. We are delighted to work with some of the most respected brands and partners, who are making a huge difference to the lives of our students.”
The purpose-built facility boasts the highest standards of environmental performance and has a BREEAM Excellent rating. It utilises green ‘living’ walls and solar units to harvest energy, as well as eight different types of glass to naturally moderate temperature inside.
Quarry Hill Campus is the college’s second major new city centre site, after its Printworks Campus development.