High House Artists’ Studios is one of Acme Studios’ 16 buildings, the majority of which are located in East and South-East London. Developing studios on the edge of London enabled Acme, working with HAT Projects architects, not only to refine its brief to create an exceptional, purpose-designed studio building, but to achieve rents significantly below those in the capital.
The 39 studios range from 1,654 square feet, suitable for large-scale sculpture production, down to 129 square feet which cost as little as £20 a week to rent. There are four work/live units which combine a studio with ancillary living space.
Acme Studios manages the Stephen Cripps' Studio Award a three-year creative development opportunity which provides a resource and support structure from which artists can develop their practice and realise and present planned or new projects. The Award is funded by Acme Studios, The Henry Moore Foundation, High House Production Park Ltd and Stephen Cripps's family. Rita Evans (2014/15) is the current recipient of the award which is located in a large ground-floor studio at High House Artists’ Studios.
Acme’s other recent new-build projects with commercial or social housing developers create permanent, affordable studios as part of larger mixed-use developments. However the partnerships end when the buildings are occupied. The unique concentration of creative organisations at High House Production Park will ensure that collaborations will continued to be developed, benefiting artists, extending the work of the partners and establishing the Park as both a local resource and a centre of international significance.
Creative & Cultural Skills and The Backstage Centre
Creative & Cultural Skills gives young people opportunities to work and learn in the creative industries. We want to ensure that employers benefit from a skilled generation of talent and continue on a course of economic growth. Our network of industry and education supporters – the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural – is open to those who are committed to the provision of high-quality creative education and training, apprenticeships and careers advice.
The Backstage Centre facilitates practical and extended training and rehearsals in a bespoke environment. It is a large-scale space for hire for the music and theatre industry, providing the capacity to rehearse, perform, install, develop and train. It offers a unique meeting point for technicians, producers, creative teams and learners of all ages and at every stage of their careers – from world-renowned international artists to young people taking their first career steps.
South Essex College of Further & Higher Education
With campuses in Basildon, Southend and Thurrock, South Essex College of Further & Higher Education is the largest provider of skills training in south Essex. All campuses are covered by an extensive bus network and are within walking distance of a train station. The College has over 7,500 full-time students and 11,500 part-time students.
There are 22 A-level subjects for young people to choose from, from law and psychology to photography and media studies. There are over 40 apprenticeships on offer, giving young people the opportunity to earn whilst they learn. Their vocational courses are designed to meet the needs of businesses, accredited by professional bodies, delivering both recognised qualifications alongside practical skills and experience. Working in partnership with University of the Arts London and the University of Essex, the College also offers over 30 degree programmes.
The £45 million new Thurrock Campus, located in Grays High Street, is specifically designed with learning and job-ready training in mind. Featuring large specialist workshops and studio spaces, the new campus opened in September 2014. Students are also able to study the unique BA (Hons) Costume Construction degree, in partnership with the Royal Opera House, at the new Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre.
Royal Opera House
The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden is home to two of the world’s leading performing arts companies, The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera. Since 2011, all the sets and scenery for every performance on the famous stage have been built and painted in the Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop on the High House Production Park. At the same time, our Learning and Participation Team moved on site and expanded the programme of work in schools and the local community that first began in 2007. One of their flagship projects, The Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, now has 140 members and performs regularly in the borough, in Covent Garden and other venues.
The Royal Opera House Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre, opened in 2015. The workshop makes costumes for Royal Opera House productions, houses costumes currently in the repertoire, those from retired shows as well as historic costumes, musical instruments and furniture from the archive collection. It is also the base of SEC costume construction degree course in association with the ROH. Having this facility close to Covent Garden has reduced transport costs and the carbon footprint allowing more efficient management and preservation of the costumes currently in use. This will prolong their working life and, in doing so, improve the recycling of costumes on new productions, reducing the costs of repairs and replacements.
The Costume Centre has been built to the highest standards of sustainable building design and is set to achieve, as the Production Workshop has, BREEAM excellent status using low carbon technologies, energy and water efficient systems. It was funded through a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) in partnership with the Royal Opera House, South Essex College, Thurrock Council, Bob and Tamar Manoukian and Foyle Foundation.
Alongside the building project, an 18-month Low Carbon Business Support Programme, Culture Change, is being led by the Royal Opera House and Julie’s Bicycle for small to medium sized enterprises within the Creative and Cultural industries in the East of England. This is an important opportunity to bring together expert partners to share knowledge with small creative companies, 86 per cent of which comprise four employees or less, with a focus on effective social media, sustainable recruitment, and workshops on fundraising and how to secure apprentices.
Find out how you can get involved with Royal Opera House activities in Thurrock.
Royal Opera House Bridge
Royal Opera House Bridge works to ‘connect children and young people with great art and culture’.
Through research, advocacy and co-investment we nurture networks, share learning and foster innovation within the education, arts and culture sector – particularly in communities where there is limited local provision or experience. ROH Bridge is funded by Arts Council England and is part of a national network of ten ‘bridge’ organisations.
Based at High House Production Park in Thurrock, we work with schools, arts organisations, museums, libraries, heritage sites, and councils across Essex, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and North Kent.
For the latest news and opportunities follow us @ROHBridge or visit www.roh.org.uk/bridge.
Thurrock Council is the local authority for the borough of Thurrock.
Thurrock is located on the River Thames about 25 minutes from the City of London and West End, and surrounded by green fields and green belt. Its character and personality has formed and evolved over centuries as agriculture, industry and the river have shaped the landscape, the make-up of its people and the quality of life.
The enduring characteristics of those who live or have lived and worked in the borough – enterprise, resilience, opportunism, adaptability – represent a strength of spirit. It is this spirit that is captured in the council’s and its partners vision and priorities:
"Thurrock: A place of opportunity, enterprise and excellence, where individuals, communities and businesses flourish:
- Create a great place for learning and opportunity.
- Encourage and promote job creation and economic prosperity.
- Build pride, responsibility and respect to create safer communities.
- Improve health and well-being.
- Protect and promote our clean and green environment.”
Central to the vision and priorities is the arts and cultural agenda supporting our ambition to raise aspirations. How people feel about where they live, how they feel about their public services, how they feel about themselves will be central to creating a collective sense of identity and direction. One in which people aspire for themselves and for their families to do well in their education, are equipped to take on the new and different types of jobs available, have the best possible quality of life and are proud of where they live.
Thurrock Council is changing and adapting to help achieve this, preparing its residents for the new opportunities, engaging and involving, more in tune and in touch with the needs of local residents, partners, businesses and its employees, aligning expectations and aspirations.
Working alongside our partners at the High House Production Park, we will ensure strong and effective links with local communities, schools and businesses to ensure the creative and cultural opportunities are realised.