The final jigsaw piece of Kendal College’s Creative Arts complex is now in place, which marks the end of a project that’s been more than six years in the making.
The new state-of-the-art Wildman Street Studios compromises two-storey building houses a large ground floor performance space with an atrium the full height of the building to offer new and exciting production opportunities. It has been specially designed to host theatre and events and has top of the range technical support and equipment. The development also includes state-of-the-art design studios and a new art gallery. Outside, a fully landscaped courtyard space with seating and power will enable outdoor performances.
The construction of the Wildman Street Studios alone costs £2.9m but it ties in with a further £1m revamp of the existing Allen Building, which has already benefitted from extensive sound-proofing, a new sound recording studio and music editing suite, new photography studios, dark room and a café.
Matt Burke, Head of School for The Arts, Media and Heritage at Kendal College, said: “This is what all of us in the Creative Arts department have been working toward for the last few years. We can now offer the full package – a creative hub at the northern end of town with all of our ‘arts’ students on one campus – as well as having dedicated support spaces for the College and for external events.
“To be honest, I’m blown away by it as it far exceeds the expectation of a ‘normal’ college building. It’s been designed specifically with professional working practices in mind and, for a small college, there’s no doubt we’re punching well above our weight in terms of innovation.”
The Wildman Street Studios will not just benefit the College and its students, it will also bring a new facility to Kendal and the South Lakes. Alongside The Box (the College’s other purpose built performance venue), the Studios will be available for the wider population to use; from community and education groups to employers and event organisers.
“Kendal College is already at the forefront of national developments in Arts & Media education,” continues Matt. “And Wildman Street Studios will add another string to our bow. We can put a lot of our success down to the enormous support we get from the South Lakes creative community so its great for us to be able to give something back to them with this new building.”
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