Production company that created Muse and Coldplay tours sets its sights on innovation and education
You might not have heard of Production Park in Wakefield, but you’ll probably have seen some of the live events that have come out of its studios – the likes of Muse’s Drone tour and Coldplay’s A Head Full of Dreams were born on site. And with arena-sized rehearsal facilities, everyone from Little Mix to System of a Down have passed through its doors in the six years since it began its journey.
The new Research and Development facility will be home to XPLOR – the world’s first research and innovation centre for entertainment technology and production
Indeed, Production Park continues to grow and turn heads, being listed in Yorkshire’s 100 fastest growing companies for the third year running, and winning the Innovation Award and overall gold medal at the Growth 100 awards back in October.
More than being a facility for the stars, Production Park’s main drive is education, with a state-of-the-art campus that is home to a cohort of over 200 students. Backstage Academy offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, including Live Events Production, Live Visual and Design Production, and Stage and Production Management.
Now the next phase of expansion is underway, with plans for a performance research studio, a two-storey building that will house offices, manufacturing, and teaching facilities. The work will be carried out by Triton Construction, a local firm that has completed a number of high-profile contracts in the North over the last 16 years, including the refurbishment of Liverpool’s iconic Royal Liver Building.
Triton Construction’s MD, Paul Clarkson, said, “The XPLOR project is very specialist due to the scale of space and heights required, technical fit out and sound requirements. We are working closely with the Production Park team as well as acoustics specialists to combine technologies in a new way to deliver sound proofing against the loudest outputs due to the built-up location.”
The new Research and Development facility will be home to XPLOR – the world’s first research and innovation centre for entertainment technology and production. Production Park secured funding for the project through a £12 million cultural recovery loan, as well as from Backstage Academy from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Development Director, Jim Farmery, said, “It’s great to have such a capable delivery partner on board in Triton Construction. We’re all really excited to see the building work underway and we can’t wait to see the XPLOR building take shape over the next few months.”
The new facilities are expected to be ready in late 2022.
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