A Barrow college is to launch a centre of excellence for art and design.
The college is building on its successful reputation for helping students progress into careers in the creative industries. Students will benefit from redesigned, flexible workspaces and increased specialist teaching as new rooms are created in a purpose-built facility at Rating Lane.
Learners can study Cambridge Technical and A-levels in art and photography, right through to the BTEC art foundation course and HND in art and design.
A new iMAC computer suite is being opened at Rating Lane, there will be a photographic studio for A-Level photography, a dedicated room for screen printing and a brand new textiles room.
Head of Art Nikki Conigliaro said the move means staff will combine their knowledge and expertise to strengthen the teaching still further.
She said: “It’s an exciting development to be able to combine talent from across the two campuses. New tutors always bring a fresh approach and we are gaining gifted staff with complementary skills.
“Between us we have experience in fine art, design and animation, photography, graphics, ceramics and textiles. I think the students will be really inspired by the work that is being produced around them.”
The sixth form is gearing up to hold its 22nd annual exhibition of work by the art foundation students today (Wednesday, May 24).
Exam projects from band promotion to game design and fine art to architecture will be on view to the public from 4pm to 6pm with students on hand to talk about their work and their next steps to university or into careers.
Andrew Wren, the principal and chief executive of Furness College said he is delighted to introduce the first centre of excellence for art and design to Barrow and the Furness area.
Mr Wren said: "Results for art at the sixth form are up there with the best nationally with seven students achieving perfect A* grades in their A-Levels last year and two thirds achieving high grades. We know there is a demand for art courses which lead to exciting and varied careers in the creative industries.
“In addition, at Channelside we offered the HND courses that meant students could study higher education art on their doorstep.
“This is a positive move and shows, as a college, we are committed to excellence not only in disciplines such as engineering but also the creative sector. It’s really important that we continue to expand the broad range of courses on offer for the people of Furness."
HND Art and Design Course Leader Vicky Shaw said: “Joining departments with the art team at the sixth form is incredibly exciting for the team here at the Channelside campus. We are really looking forward to working together. I think this will create some fantastic and inspiring opportunities for creative students in south Cumbria.”
The A-Level art exhibition will be held on June 8 and will also be open to the public from 4pm to 6pm.