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New £1.4m media centre for high school

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:06 22 October 2010

Pupils at a north Suffolk school could soon become tomorrow's Huw Edwards or Stewart White thanks to a new £1.4m media centre. Kirkley High School pupils are no strangers to public spotlight after the school hit national headlines by hosting the Channel Four hit TV show Rock School, which saw Kiss singer Gene Simmons transform 12 pupils into a rock band.

Pupils at a north Suffolk school could soon become tomorrow's Huw Edwards or Stewart White thanks to a new £1.4m media centre.

Kirkley High School pupils are no strangers to public spotlight after the school hit national headlines by hosting the Channel Four hit TV show Rock School, which saw Kiss singer Gene Simmons transform 12 pupils into a rock band.

But now youngsters at Kirkley could be the ones to host and film their own shows, as work on a major media centre at the school gets underway.

The Kirkley Innovation and Technology Enterprise (KITE) Media Centre will house facilities for both TV and Radio training including digital production studios, editing suites for sound and vision, training centre for TV/Radio and a TV production studio.

It will also offer training in animation, marketing, photography, website creation and multimedia as well as providing a north of the county base for BBC Radio Suffolk.

Last night former deputy head at Kirkley, Hazel Johnson, who is overseeing the KITE Media Centre said it would be a “flagship project for Lowestoft.”

She said: “The building will be a landmark. It is reminiscent of a ship, there will even be a bridge access point as the building will mark, and remember the past, while looking to the future as the only one of its kind in East Anglia.

“People perceive Lowestoft to be a backwater, where nothing happens - but we're about promoting the best of the area and with this project we are aiming to develop and expand,” she added.

Creating a “one stop shop” for all media requirements, the project is aiming to create a skilled workforce, increase business competitiveness and enhance growth in Waveney.

Mrs Johnson said: “We will be developing training to local business people in how they can use the media to promote themselves and market their business.

“The aim is to also encourage and foster entrepreneurship in ways that will offer new opportunities to access regional, national and international markets.

“The building will be finished by the end of the year and will then be fitted out. The aim is to then have a grand opening next spring.”

The project has attracted £448,000 of European Union funding and an additional £100,000 from Suffolk County Council.

Drawing on a breadth of knowledge from across the region, television presenter Helen McDermott and Gerald Main from Radio Suffolk are among industry experts expected to play key roles in the centre's future.

And on September 25 and October 9, taster sessions with Ms McDermott will be held at the Vocational Centre at Kirkley to promote what will be available when the facility opens.


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