A MAJOR milestone has been reached in the creation of the £9m joint building project between the University of Portsmouth and the New Theatre Royal.
The university held a topping out ceremony to mark the completion of the highest construction point of its new building, which is set to open in the autumn.
The new facility will benefit students from the university’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, particularly those studying or participating in film, television, sound, broadcasting, drama and musical theatre.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Galbraith said: ‘It is important to celebrate this milestone in the construction of our newest University building.
‘The extension will provide not only new student space and facilities but will also support our partnership in the New Theatre Royal refurbishment.
‘This sector-leading infrastructure will underpin the development of the next generation of actors, directors, producers and musicians, as well as our new programmes of study in musical theatre.
‘When added to the recently-completed extension of the Eldon building, it provides a tremendous platform for the university to make an impact not only on the offer to our students but on the creative life of the city, which is so important to our future success.’
The new development will include a double height studio theatre with speciality technical support and lighting as well as a flexible performance space.
The four-storey extension will house a new TV studio and TV gallery, music practice rooms and more teaching and drama studio space.
University senior staff and governors celebrated by donning hard hats and touring the four-storey structure.
ISG is the construction company responsible for extending and enhancing facilities at the theatre.
Project manager Paul Newell added: ‘Reaching this important stage in the development recognises the commitment, vision and passion of the project stakeholders to create a world-class teaching environment to support ambitious and talented students.
‘Providing even greater integration between the university and theatre, these new facilities will firmly establish Portsmouth’s credentials as a top-tier destination for those looking for a future career in the creative arts industry.’