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First Minister of Wales to open £5m Centre for the Creative Industries

31 March 2011

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of Wales, will today officially open a new £5m centre dedicated to supporting the creative industries.

The Centre for the Creative Industries at Glyndŵr University in Wrexham will provide students from disciplines such as art and design, media, and computing with access to cutting edge training and development facilities.

It will also become the new home of BBC Cymru Wales in Wrexham, strengthening the BBC’s presence in north east Wales and providing new production facilities for its staff, guests and contributors.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “With Wrexham hosting two major cultural and creative events this year, the National Eisteddfod and its own Year of Culture, now is the perfect time to launch such an important and creative facility.

“This new Centre for the Creative Industries supports our drive to position Wales as a modern creative economy, able to compete successfully on the UK and world stage. The creative industries make a vital contribution to our economy, and are one of the six sectors of particular promise identified in the Economic Renewal policy we published last year.

“I am also pleased that the building will be home BBC Cymru in Wrexham, a great example of the University working collaboratively with an established institution.”

The centre features state-of-the-art TV and radio studios, 3D workshops, design studios, IT suites, Apple training suites and post-production audio and visual facilities.

By bringing together different disciplines associated with the creative industries it is hoped it will provide innovative solutions to commercial problems as well as contributing to the growth of the creative industries in North East Wales.

Professor Michael Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Glyndŵr University, said: “The opening of the centre marks an exciting step for the university as it continues its vision of supporting the economy and industry in north east Wales and we’re delighted to be working in partnership with the BBC as part of this.

“The creative industries are worth millions of pounds to the UK economy and through the new centre we will be able to play a leading role in equipping graduates with advanced multidisciplinary skills using up-to-date industry-standard facilities.”

The BBC Cymru Wales facilities will be housed alongside space used by the University and its students. The new building will be more accessible to the public and will enable the BBC to develop better partnerships with local business and education communities.

Keith Jones, Director of BBC Cymru Wales, said: “The move to this striking new building cements our commitment to serving north east Wales and provides a purpose built home for what is a dynamic and important part of BBC Cymru Wales.

These new facilities offer even more opportunities than before for the Wrexham team – a TV studio suitable for live TV debates and programmes, an updated radio and unattended studio and state of the art editing facilities.

All this coupled with our new partnership with Glyndŵr University heralds the start of a new and exciting chapter of opportunity and creativity.

We are excited to be a part of this day and wish Glyndŵr University and our staff here in the north east the best of luck with this new venture.”

The official opening will be marked by an all-day series of events, including workshops by creative industries students and the Welsh premiere of a new film, Hawk, produced by Glyndŵr University graduates with the support of film executives behind the Oscar winning The King’s Speech and starring Robin Gwyn Davin, Steffan Thomas and Philip Madoc.

A collection of giant murals will also be unveiled at the centre for the first time. The Dance of Life murals have been on display in the university’s art gallery since November 2010.

Painted by the artist Mildred Eldridge in the 1950s, they originally covered two entire walls at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital in Gobowen until being moved into storage in 2005.

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