Almost £1m private investment secured for world class educational facility with iconic bell tower
Posted: 14 March 2018
One Creative Environments Ltd. (One) has announced that £750k of private investment has already been secured for a world class performing arts and music facility, only weeks after planning was secured.
This news has been announced during MIPIM, the world’s leading property market in Cannes, where One, which has a Midlands HQ and a London office, is a senior partner with the Midlands-wide delegation, Midlands UK.
This purpose built educational building, which has been fully designed by the multi-disciplinary design company, One, will provide a wealth of opportunities for students. The addition of the bell tower, which is being privately funded, means that Christopher Whitehead Language College (CWLC) and Sixth Form in Worcester will be the only state school in the country to have such facilities on a school site.
A ‘sponsorship’ package and promotional document are being developed, along with a tender pack to RIBA Stage 4, over the next few months for this £5million exciting and iconic development. However, this funding has already been secured through private investors even though the formal funding process is yet to start.
This latest announcement now means that One and the school are well on the way to making this vision a reality, with building planned to start during 2019. The remaining private investment of just over £4million will now be sought which includes meetings this week at the global property and real estate show in France.
One is a multi-disciplinary building design company and has provided all aspects of the design: masterplanning, architecture, landscape architecture, structural and civil engineering and building services all modelled in a 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) environment – the future of intelligent building design.
The contemporary and innovative building was fully supported by the planners for its sustainability principles. The form of the building was inspired by the movement of dance and how a dancer can be held effortlessly in the air. In this design, the weight of the bells are disguised in an elegant bell tower structure that people walk underneath which is now affectionately known as “the ballerina tower.”
The multi-functional facility for teaching will combine music, drama, dance and vocational studies. It will help students learn about business and there is a radio station, booking office, hair salon and small kitchen and servery. Marketing of events will also provide opportunities for students to understand more about business promotion.
The addition of the bell tower as an iconic entrance will enable the teaching of bell-ringing which has wide ranging educational benefits in the teaching of art, science and mathematics. Bell-ringing sheet music is based on mathematical formulas and requires mental agility for synchronisation and the combination of the bells. It will also help improve student’s physical agility, co-ordination, reaction time and balance, improve muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness as well as help to keep this 500 year old art form alive.
Stunning views will also be provided across Worcester from the viewing platform of the tower, which includes the historic Cathedral, with local overlooking avoided by the careful positioning of opaque screening glass.
Neil Morris, Headteacher of Christopher Whitehead Language College and Sixth Form, in Worcester said: “This entire performing arts centre will make an incredible difference to our students and the breadth of what we can offer through the curriculum.”
“Our school motto is ‘In Pursuit of Excellence’. We believe that students should have every opportunity to learn and we aren’t afraid to provide a unique offer to benefit our students. For example, we have language college status and are one of only 30 schools in the UK, and one of 8 state schools nationally, identified to teach Mandarin, Chinese – the most spoken language in the world.”
“This is now a great cultural and educational opportunity to become the first state school to have a non-intrusive, sound proofed, beautiful bell tower and I really appreciate the enthusiasm and commitment shown by private investors to date.”
Mark Martin, Director of One Creative Environments Ltd. and the designer behind the building, said: “We are delighted with the response from the private sector. We are developing ‘sponsorship’ options, however, this investment has been secured even before the formal funding process has begun which is great news.”
“As a company we have attended MIPIM, Cannes and its London counterpart, MIPIM UK, for many years and seen great success in securing investment for clients and work for our integrated building design company.”
“This is another wonderful educational project for One to be involved in. We are now looking forward to many more productive meetings this week including meeting those who may be interested in investing in this iconic, new building which we believe is a great investment opportunity that will inspire future generations.”
A range of measures have been put in place in consideration of the local area: through intelligent building design with sound proofing and roof louvres that remain closed during teaching, restricted teaching times and the sound will be controlled by physically ‘muffling’ the bells so that the chime can only be heard by the students through the use of a computer and headphones. The bells will only be allowed to ring audibly to celebrate special local and National events, under the supervision of experienced bell ringers, for 12 days a year for an hour on each of this occasions between 10am and 6pm.