New £9 million building for creative industries opens at UWE Bristol

Issue date: 14 September 2017

New £9m building at Bower Ashton

A new purpose-built £9 million building for creatives studying at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will open its doors to students at the beginning of the new term.

Based at the UWE Bristol Bower Ashton site, part of City Campus, the building houses industry standard production and post production facilities for film making, animation and photography and is the latest development in a total refurbishment of all UWE Campuses.

The yet to be named building will be open for use by all students based on the City Campus including journalism, fine art, illustration and graphic design students.

Facilities include a production studio, two large photography studios, all animation stop motion and CGI studios, sound recording and Foley studios, colour grading studios as well as editing suites. The building provides an integrated learning environment and students are fully supported by a team of dedicated staff.

The design needed to blend in with and be sympathetic to the beautiful natural surroundings of the Ashton Court conservation area.

The building borrows form and materials from simple agricultural architecture, brought together in a crisp and contemporary way to reflect the technology-rich and progressive activity within it. Internally, highly specialised and inwardly-focussed studio and production spaces contrast with a vibrant first floor hub space with full height glazing closely connecting building users with the inspirational historic landscape of the deer park beyond.

Students will be encouraged to cycle and use public transport to get to the Campus. Cycle parking has been moved to the front of the building so that bus and cycle routes are now separated. Students can enjoy using the Festival Way cycle path that leads from the City Centre to the Bower Ashton site.

Phil Chamberlain, Head of Department for film and journalism, said, “This fantastic space will see staff and students working on industry-standard facilities to produce cutting edge projects. With all these creative disciplines under one roof it's going to be exciting to see what collaborations and innovations are generated. We certainly plan on making it a worthy addition to Bristol's internationally-renowned creative industries.”

Roger Conlon, Deputy Dean in the Faculty of Art, Creative Industries and Education, said, “UWE Bristol has invested £37 million in the city campus since 2013. Our strategy is to ensure that our students experience the best possible learning environment. This coupled with our strong connections with all the key creative businesses and organisations in the city mean students get crucial work based experience.

“Our faculty has consistently earned excellent approval ratings for the quality of its teaching and learning and graduate employability. With this new building and equipment and our excellent staff we will continue to equip students with the skills to make them highly employable and sought after graduates.”

The building will be launched with a new name later in the academic year and is part of a development programme that will see £37 million invested in creative industries and around £300 million in UWE Bristol in totality.

Steve West, UWE Bristol President and Vice-Chancellor, said, “We are very excited to see the entire University gradually transform. We have tremendous ambition and our strategy is focused on practice based learning through harnessing our partnerships.

“This latest building is a fabulous addition to the UWE Bristol portfolio but as we all know it is not just about buildings, it is about how we blend learning in great environments with the right facilities and through making the most of our connections to help students succeed.”

Back to top