Sir Peter Bazalgette, who is Executive Chairman of ITV, hosted the official opening of the Digital Media Studios at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) on Monday. The award-winning £9 million building on the Bower Ashton campus houses industry-standard production filmmaking, animation and photography facilities for creative industries students.

Sir Peter Bazalgette said: “I am delighted to open UWE Bristol’s Digital Media Studios, which will give students access to the very latest facilities and technology that is also used by the television and creative industries. This will put them at the heart of one of the UK’s most important creative clusters: the Bristol screen industries.”

The television executive, who was previously Chair of the Arts Council England, unveiled a plaque at the state-of-the-art facilities, whose building won the Best Educational Building award at the LABC West of England Building Excellence Awards 2018. The LABC (Local Authority Building Control) awards recognise the best in construction in England and Wales.

Architects Austin-Smith:Lord, which designed the building, created a building that blends in with the natural surroundings of the Ashton Court conservation area. Facilities include a production studio, two large photography studios, stop motion animation and CGI facilities, sound and Foley recording studios, as well as colour grading and editing suites.

The building is open to all students based on City Campus, UWE Bristol’s creative and cultural industries campus made up of sites at Bower Ashton, Spike Island, Arnolfini and Watershed. It is also available to those studying journalism, fine art, illustration and graphic design at the University.

Professor Jane Roscoe, who is Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the Faculty of Arts, Creative Industries and Education at UWE Bristol, said: “Our new Digital Media Studios provide industry standard facilities that give our students the opportunities to develop skills in the contexts in which they will use them out in the industry. Our studio facilities replicate those in the creative industries, allowing our graduates to move more quickly into creative roles across Bristol and the region.”

Geraint Evans