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Locksbrook campus grand opening
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Bath Spa marks official opening of Locksbrook campus

Monday, 16 March, 2020

Actor Jeremy Irons joined Bath Spa University students, staff and alumni on 4 March to officially open the new Locksbrook Campus, in his role as Chancellor of the University. 

The new building, which welcomed its first students in October, is the culmination of a major restoration project which has seen the former Grade II listed Herman Miller factory re-purposed and remodelled into a remarkable, contemporary new space for students.

A series of talks, events, workshops and exhibitions took place during the week as part of the ‘Thinking Through Making’ themed opening celebrations.

The Chancellor hosted a masterclass for Bath Spa students before officially opening the new Locksbrook Campus with Vice-Chancellor Sue Rigby.

Guests heard from inspiring speakers from the art and design industries including Alice Rawsthorn OBE - one of the UK’s most celebrated design critics and authors - and John Kampfner, former Chief Executive of the Creative Industries Federation.

An exhibition showcasing the talent of the University’s art and design alumni was also part of the celebrations, with painters, illustrators, designers and sculptors displaying work across the Sion Hill Campus and Locksbrook Campus Gallery. The exhibition is open to the public until 25 March and includes a piece by the late Sir Howard Hodgkin – a Turner Prize Winner.  

Chancellor Jeremy Irons commented: “I’m delighted to officially open Locksbrook Campus today – this is a spectacular environment for young people to thrive in. The opportunities for students to collaborate with other artists and designers will allow them to experiment creatively and give them a breadth of knowledge, which is so beneficial in the creative industries.”

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sue Rigby added: “Locksbook Campus has been designed with our students and their creative practices firmly in mind. The central workshop facilities in the heart of the building allow students to move seamlessly between materials and processes and encourages cross-disciplinary collaboration. 

“The creative industries are worth £100 billion a year to the UK economy, and continue to grow. Investing in world-class facilities will allow us to continue to provide a high-quality talent pipeline for the art and design industries, and help ensure the country retains its status as a world leader in the area.”

Celebrations continued throughout the week, with renowned illustrator and Bath Spa alumnus Mr Bingo giving a keynote talk to students about how to make a living out of doing something you love. Mr Bingo launched one of the most successful crowdfunding publishing projects of all time, to become an artist who makes a living from directly selling art to his social media fan base.


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