THE red carpet was rolled out by students and staff at Mansfield’s West Notts College for the Duke of Kent when he officially opened the site’s new £5m creative arts centre on Monday.
He was given a tour of the state-of-the-art Create facility which is the first phase of the college’s new £24m plan to transform the college’s Derby Road campus with new buildings and facilities.
The Duke watched several special performances from students and described the new centre as ‘superbly equipped’ before unveiling a special plaque to mark the occasion.
Officially opening the new centre, he congratulated staff and students on their hard work and impressive facilities.
“There is obviously a great deal of creative energy going on here from performing arts students and I am sure you will all go on to do great work all over the country,” he said.
Said principal, Asha Khemka: “Students have fully embraced the state-of-the-art facilities, which are already helping them to expand and develop their learning and creative abilities.
“A lot of hard work has gone into the college from all our students and staff so to get the royal seal of approval makes us very proud.
“I am hoping that people come from all over the community to use our facilities.”
Create, which opened its doors to students in September, provides media, music and performance students with high-tech equipment including workshop and rehearsal space.
The area includes television, radio and digital recording studios as well as multi-media, animation and video editing suites.
It also boasts a commercial software training centre, performing arts and dance studios and a 150-seat performance theatre.
College bosses want the building to become a focal point for local musicians, performers and touring companies, who are being urged to use its recording studios, rehearsal space and theatre.
Performing Arts student Liam Porter said he was proud to give a royal performance in front of the Duke.
“It was an honour and a privilege, just before I came on stage it really hit that how important it was,” he said.
And tutor Julie Colley said she was delighted with how the students conducted themselves.
“The new facilities are amazing, there are no boundaries to what students can achieve,” she said.
“The performance went really well in front of the Duke, all the students were really professional.”