Leeds Beckett's new Creative Arts building.
Nick Hill

Leeds Beckett University secures planning approval for £75m Creative Arts building

Leeds Beckett University has been granted planning permission for a new £75m Creative Arts building.

The 14,500 sq.m development, located at the edge of the Civic Quarter of Leeds, will provide a home for academic, creative and cultural activities.

The proposed building will feature specialist facilities that include: dedicated studios for fashion; performing arts and music performance; a theatre as well as a black box studio; a 220 seat Dolby Atmos cinema; a TV studio, three large film studios as well as a green screen studio; a stop motion studio; Foley studios, dubbing and music recording studios; acoustic labs and a suite of post-production studios.

Designed by Hawkins\Brown in conjunction with development partner Downing Developments, the building will be home to nearly 2,000 students and staff who are currently spread across various separate locations in the city.

The university aims for the building to become a landmark site for the Northern Film School, Music, Performing Arts and Fashion students.

Andrew Fryer, Dean of the School of Film, Music and Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett, said: “The Creative Arts building will provide a home for our creative community of academics, students, researchers and practitioners, with spaces full of character that draw on Leeds Beckett University’s heritage for diverse learning skills opportunities.

“At the centre of the building will be innovative learning spaces, which will allow students and staff from the school to collaborate in new and dynamic ways. We want this to be a centrepiece for the growing cultural landscape of Leeds, a part of the City’s European Capital of Culture 2023 bid and a place to meet, drop by or simply visit because it’s just a great place to be.”

The entrance foyer is designed as an open space, accommodating a 4.5m level change across the site with a feature staircase that connects the publicly accessible areas of the building.

An atrium that rises up to the fifth floor is animated by projecting social learning spaces, writing sheds and conversation dens. The lower floors of the building house the theatre, triple height TV studio and a cinema.

Professor Peter Slee, Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University, added: “Leeds Beckett plays a vital role in the health of the city and region, generating jobs and prosperity.

“The Creative Arts building will provide a new city marker, elevating the visibility of the university at this important city location and providing a resource that we believe will contribute to the creative economy in Leeds.

“This outstanding new building will provide a creative focus for the School’s undergraduate, postgraduate, doctoral and research and enterprise programmes and act as a hub for our cultural and industry partnerships across the city.”

Works on site will begin end of 2017, with completion estimated to be in 2020.

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