UK: The new building in Thurrock, SE England, will provide live music production and technical theatre training, writes David Davies. The announcement that the National Skills Academy (NSA) for Creative & Cultural Skills-aligned complex (artist's projection pictured) had secured £5m of funding was made by Rt Hon John Denham MP, who is Labour MP for Southampton Itchen and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Described as an "employer-led initiative", the new academy will provide training for theatre, live music and other event technicians. To be located at Thurrock in the Thames Gateway, the complex is expected to create 1,000 jobs and is set for completion by 2011.
Considering the implications for the live sound sector, NSA managing director Pauline Tambling tells PSN-e that the new facility "will enable thousands of young people and apprentices to train for jobs as live music technicians in a state-of-the-art facility. They will also work with leading live music professionals, including bands and technicians, to ensure they receive the most up-to-day training possible. It's a great step forward and will help ensure the industry has the skilled workforce it needs to remain competitive."
Andrew Mackinlay - the Labour MP for Thurrock and a notable supporter of the parliamentary campaign to secure sufficient spectrum access for PMSE users post-switchover - was among those to welcome the news.
"The National Skills Academy is in line with many of the government's objectives on skills, training and regeneration," he said. "It will help to support 'recession-busting' initiatives in the Thames Gateway region, and will also contribute to the development of a cultural legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games, helping to raise aspirations for young people in the region, and create jobs."