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The Charcoalblue Team Has Used Its Hands on Theatre and Training Talents

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Core Tip: UK-Forward-thinking problem solving theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue has provided full planning,technical systems design service and busin

Charcoalblue Assists Training Facility Project

UK-Forward-thinking problem solving theatre design consultancy Charcoalblue has provided full planning,technical systems design service and business planning for one of the most up to date,technically sophisticated UK training facilities for the entertainment industry.

The Charcoalblue team has used its hands on theatre and training talents to help develop The National Skills Academy(NSA)in Thurrock,Thames Gateway,which delivers industry-endorsed training for young people and professionals as well as a national centre,rehearsal and administrative space.

The£13m scheme is currently supported by more than120 leading employers working in the theatre and'live'music industries and signifies an ambitious vision to provide world-class training for the world's greatest stages.

Charcoalblue's responsibilities included developing alternative master-planning proposals,developing stage lighting,audiovisual and stage engineering proposals,and providing guidance on work at height considerations and related health and safety issues.

In addition to the design services,Charcoalblue also provided business consultancy services including market research and business plan advice.This delivered an extensive resource of data and research on the marketplace and the competition the venue might face in the industry.NSA offers a world-class large-scale live music and performance rehearsal and development venue that can complement the educational offer,allowing the industry to interact and provide hands-on training to the students using the venue.

"Working on the project was an incredible experience as the client(NSA/Creative&Cultural Skills)network utilises industry leaders from the live music,entertainment technology,performance and education sectors,"explains Charcoalblue project manager Jon Woodley."This gave us a chance to test the designs with the world's best from the industry ensuring that we accommodated every possible platform for training and professional use.The result is a venue that is of the highest possible technical capability,that is flexible and geared towards creating an exciting educational environment rivalling the best competition around."

"The opportunity to design a space with three different types of grid area,and such a wide range of different stagelighting and audiovisual technologies was a great opportunity for Charcoalblue,"continues Charcoalblue managing director,Andy Hayles."The result has been fantastic,with a venue situated next door to the new Royal Opera House workshops,that boasts everything you could ever need from a full digital recording studio,a massive 25m x 35m main space(with a grid capable of taking 100,000kgs load)to a CAD training suite as well as one of the nicest green rooms(designed by Gibberd Architects)that you will find around."

Tony Hall,chief executive of the Royal Opera House,commented,"You need to go to Purfleet to fully understand the scale and ambition of this exciting project.The NSA will create a national centre for production and technical aspects of the theatre and music industries.These great new buildings,plus the other facilities on this site,will bring in new energy to the area and provide jobs and training opportunities for local people."

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