£1.5m art studios to be built at East Norfolk College

Jerene Irwin

Jerene Irwin - Credit: Archant

East Norfolk Sixth Form College is celebrating a further £1.5m government grant to provide new art studios.

Cobi knitting and stitching exhibition

Cobi knitting and stitching exhibition - Credit: Archant

It comes hot on the heels of a recent £850k grant to provide a new entrance and reception area.

Evie Francis

Evie Francis - Credit: Archant

The college is working closely with Norfolk-based architects Chaplin Farrant to create new spaces, which will involve the demolition of several buildings behind the 1930s frontage and make way for an eco friendly building providing studio spaces and photography studios.

The new studio spaces will be linked to the existing frontage and the interior completely refurbished to provide large studio spaces for 3D design, graphics, fine art and textiles.

Principal Daphne King said: “This is a very exciting time for East Norfolk Sixth Form College. Last year the Princess Royal opened two new buildings at the rear of the campus representing £6m of investment in our estate. And one year on we are able to add a further £2.5m to that investment which will mean our students will have the best possible facilities.

“Each year we welcome over 1,700 students and we are thrilled we are able to continue to make significant improvements to the campus.”

The college’s art students continue to achieve good results and this year is no exception. Already 3D student Stephen Flynn, one of the college’s six students offered a place at Cambridge University has a conditional offer at Peterhouse College, Cambridge to study architecture, continuing the long tradition of 3D students going on to study architecture or furniture design.

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Photography student Emma Marsden Hill scored 100pc last year in her AS photography and has been offered an unconditional place to study at the London College of Fashion – one of the most prestigious degree courses in the country, and Emma has designs on working in the fashion magazine world when she completes her degree.

Following his youth photography work placement with the EDP, photography student Jamie Honeywood has beaten off stiff competition to gain a place at the London College of Communication.

And earlier this year textiles students Katy Wrighting and Rebecca Maitland wowed judges at the World Skills Vocational Master Class with their ‘flawless quality of garment making’ and won the title beating off strong competition from students around the region.

Other destinations this year include the Royal College of Needlework at Hampton Court where Daisy Aldous has been offered a place to study hand embroidery.

The most recent success this year was the college’s participation at the National Fashion Textiles Competition where Cobi Parratt and Evie Francis were among 20 finalists whose work was displayed for the duration of the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show in March at Olympia in London.

The College also regularly welcomes back previous students to inspire the next generation of budding artists, furniture makers, fashion designers, photographers and graphic designers.

Last week Sophia George, who studied at the college from 2006-2008 and now runs her own games company Swallow Tail, shared the highlights of her career to date, including her residency as the first ever games designer at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and her winning 2012 BAFTA game Tick Tock Toys with team mate and fellow former student, Kristian Francis.

Other alumni working closely with the college include Bobby Burrage who runs his own design company The Click and masterminded the college’s rebranding and Jerene Irwin, from Chaplin Farrant who is the project architect for the latest projects.

Jerene said: “It is great to be creating a new art building for the college where I studied. This project will not only dramatically improve the students’ learning experience but also greatly improve the energy efficiency of the oldest part of the campus and create a striking and elegant new building.”

The building work has been funded by the Education Funding Agency and will also provide improved vehicle access.