Saturday 8 May 2021
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Flagship arts building to give Salford students unique advantage

The University of Salford’s flagship New Adelphi Arts Centre is set to open its doors for the start of the academic year – providing students with cutting edge facilities.

The £55m building opens on Monday September 19 and will be the new home for many of the University’s School of Arts and Media courses – Art, Design, Fashion, Photography, Music, Performance and Dance – as well as the School of the Built Environment’s new Architecture programme.

The building, with its 15,000 square metres of floor space over eight storeys, will provide a purpose built facility for students to work to professional standards, enabling them to collaborate with top industry professionals in a state of the art environment.

The New Adelphi Arts Centre’s facilities include:

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* A 350 seat theatre, to open for public and community performances as well as student shows
* Professional quality TV studios featuring HD cameras
* Five professional recording studios
* A band room large enough to record an orchestra
* 600 square metres of specialist art and design workshops

The facilities will enable students to work with innovative new practices, processes and technologies, enhancing the University’s existing relationships with industry collaborators including HOME, The Lowry, Hotel Football, Islington Mill, the Daily Telegraph, and a wide range of media organisations including ITV and the BBC.

Professor Allan Walker, Dean of the School of Arts and Media, said: “New Adelphi is designed to provide our students with a comprehensive and cutting-edge environment of creative studios and performance spaces which will support the development of their professional experience and training.

“It will enhance our working relationships with a wide range of organisations – an approach to learning which is at the heart of the University’s Industry Collaboration Zone (ICZ) strategy and which is central to our commitment that all students will benefit from engaging with industry professionals during the course of their degree programmes.

“We expect New Adelphi will soon be recognised as one of the UK’s most advanced creative production and training facilities for all forms of performance, plastic arts and for design combined with media and digital technologies.

“The building will not only provide an artistic hub for our students, but a programme of events will make it a mainstay of Greater Manchester’s cultural landscape.”

The large theatre, equipped with the latest lighting, PA equipment and high-powered projector, seats 350 and can be adapted to the different configurations required by a broad range of shows.

This inspirational space will open its doors to the community both as a cultural resource for local people and as an exciting new venue where members of the public can enjoy an exciting and eclectic programme of performances.

The 16/17 season – details of which will be announced shortly – includes comedy performances, an acclaimed play by Bated Breath Theatre company, which is touring nationally to mark the Shakespeare 2016 celebrations, and a new production from award-winning Lip Service.

A smaller studio theatre also contains flexible seating and stage layouts, while an amphitheatre can host outdoor events.

The New Adelphi Arts Centre will enable students to work with community groups in areas including dance, drama, television performance, music and art/design. The Salford Television Workshop will be the first of many community organisations to get involved with the new centre.

A series of professional quality screen acting studios will give students valuable experience in front of high definition cameras, while a voice acting studio will make sure students have the chance to master the kind of vocal performance used in radio or video game production, and all Acting students will also have the opportunity to learn technical production skills.

Music students will have access to five professional recording studios, built using specialist room-within-room construction methods and housing recording booths, pianos and the latest equipment provided by Ampeg, Fender and Vox. The adjoining control rooms come equipped with top of the range speakers, bespoke furniture the latest Audient mixing desks – the first to be installed in the UK.

Digital connectivity means each control room can be connected with any of New Adelphi’s other performance spaces, which will allow any performance taking place within the building to be recorded at professional quality.

A 100 square metre band room, taking up two floors, can accommodate a big band or orchestra and is overlooked by its own control room.

Artists and designers will benefit from the 600 square metres dedicated to specialist workshops ranging from traditional model making tools to 3D printers and laser cutters. A printing lab within this area includes specialist equipment from screen printers and lithotables to etching presses and felt looms.

Students will be able to use seven fully equipped professional photography studios featuring lighting equipment, a dark room and the latest cameras and accessories. Work created here can be exhibited in the 100 square metre gallery dedicated to formal exhibitions and other exhibition spaces in the building’s foyer.

The New Adelphi also contains high specification performance and dance rehearsal studios, open plan studio spaces for art and design projects and many instrumental tuition rooms.

Built by BAM Construction, the building was made using 1,000 tonnes of structural steel and 5,500 square metres of reinforced concrete. It houses a café, a bar, a rooftop terrace and wildlife attracting green roof. Its distinctive large walkway, cutting through the centre of the building, will lead visitors into the heart of the University’s Peel Park campus.

BAM Construction gave lectures and presentations throughout the build, hosted sessions to prepare students for employment, provided work experience to 21 young people, employed 47 apprentices and helped nine students with research and dissertation support.

A total of 69 per cent of their workforce came from the North West with 24 per cent from Salford and central Manchester wards.

BAM Construction Director Tony Grindrod said: “This building has involved some real challenges with the amount of structural steelwork required and the huge number of specialist facilities to fit inside, but the team has pulled together to deliver an impressive facility while still making time to benefit students and local people with a huge amount of learning and employment opportunities.

“Many of the BAM team, including myself, came to the University of Salford so we’re proud to have delivered what will now become such a landmark building for the University at the gateway to its campus.”

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