Singing flashmob helps open up £14m wing at Portsmouth University

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Councillor David Fuller, Georgie Howard, 18, Head of Gaskell House, and deputy headmistress Heather Trim with students at the start of the walk Picture: Sally Tiller

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SINGING students welcomed the opening of a new £14m university wing.

Staff, students and important members of the community gathered yesterday to mark the official opening of the University of Portsmouth’s Eldon building in Winston Churchill Avenue.

The flashmob sings at the oOpening of the new Eldon Building at the University of Portsmouth.

The flashmob sings at the oOpening of the new Eldon Building at the University of Portsmouth.

University chancellor and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig unveiled a plaque.

She said: ‘It is an enormous honour to open the Eldon building as it’s one of the greatest developments at the university – £14m spent to create an extraordinary hub of creativity.’

The crowd was treated to a flashmob musical rendition from students and staff, which launched their end of term summer show.

A show was held by students from the fashion and textiles course, while exhibitions of art, photography, graphic design and other exhibits were on display.

And the launch event was filmed by more than 60​ television and broadcasting students and staff as part of a marathon 24-hour broadcast to raise money for charity.

The livestream finished at 8pm yesterday and the university became the first in the UK to complete such a feat.

Student Richard Denbigh, 21, was filming the opening event.

He said: ‘It has been fantastic. We’ve all been helping each other out. It is a first.

‘Last year we broadcast for six hours but this year we decided to blow that away and go for 24. It’s been quite hectic.’

Dean of the faculty of creative and cultural industries Catherine Harper said: ‘It’s been incredibly exciting in three ways – this event, the final-year shows and the 24-hour broadcast.

‘It’s wonderful for the students to experience all this in one go as it’s what the professional world will offer.’

The extension, which houses a 200-seat cinema-quality screening room, a new exhibition space, seven seminar rooms, an art shop and design studios, has been hailed by students.

Grant Chapman-Clarke, 24, president elect of the Students’ Union, said: ‘I love the new building. It’s fantastic that as a modern university we are investing in creative and media studies.’

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