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Henri Oguike Dance Company

Press Release - 23 May 2007

University launches competition to design new arts centre

The University of Bath is hoping to build a major interdisciplinary arts complex at its Claverton Down campus.

The complex will develop the existing programme of activities on campus and give local people, students and staff access to state-of-the art facilities that will provide a focal point for nurturing the region’s talented artists.

The new facilities will include performance space for live events, including music and dance studios and an improved theatre, and the space and resources for academic teaching and research.

To help get the project fully underway, the University has launched a competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects to find a team of designers who can draw up the initial plans.

Once these are in place, the University will then need to secure planning permission and raise the estimated £10 million required to build and support the many activities undertaken within the new complex.

If everything goes to plan, the University hopes to be able to open the new facility – which will be built next to the Sports Training Village and could incorporate the existing arts facilities – in spring 2010.

“The arts complex is a very exciting project, and one which would be a tremendous boost to arts in Bath,” said John Struthers, Director of ICIA (Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts) at the University of Bath.

“One in three students at the University is involved in arts projects outside their studies – and there is a real need for bigger and better facilities for them.

“We hope to build a complex that will be at the creative heart of the University for years to come.

“We also hope that the complex will become a regional hub for the development of the arts, and that local people and arts groups will benefit from using state-of-the-art facilities alongside professional artists.”

The ICIA was founded in 2003 and has quickly established a national reputation in artistic and academic circles.

It runs a programme of professional performances, exhibitions, talks, workshops and classes open to the general public, students and staff.

It also develops and commissions new and innovatory arts projects on a local and national level. One of ICIA’s success stories has been the co-commissioning of Henri Oguike Dance Company, now recognised as one of the UK’s leading dance companies, while offering professional development for artists, arts professionals, academics and educators.

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