After two years of construction work, the University of Bath’s new Arts & Management building has opened its doors.
Officially named the Edge, the £10 million state-of-the-art facility offers four stories of orchestra-sized rehearsal rooms, soundproof music, dance and fine arts studios along with teaching facilities for both lessons and rehearsal.
The new Arts & Management building has been widely anticipated by all arts students, many of whom have been forced to practice in unsuitable locations, including the Chancellor’s Building and the Sulis Club.
Despite the building’s high budget, it is believed that a considerable amount of money is still needed for specialist equipment, instruments and technical requirements.
An Institute of Creative and Inter-Disciplinary Arts (ICIA) spokesperson said “there was no official figure”, but it is expected to be in the tens of thousands of pounds. This will be funded by money found outside of the University.
Students and societies are now able to book rooms anytime during the week either for group rehearsal or individual use of the equipment. The Edge is a considerable improvement from the current situation, with a number of societies having made use of the Chancellor’s Building for the first semester.
In addition, the refurbished 250-seat theatre hall, which doubles as a lecture room, and two visual art galleries are due to host many upcoming events ranging from plays and concerts to visual art exhibitions. Art Societies have already planned to make use of the Edge for performances in the near future.
An adaptation of the hit musical Grease by the University’s Student musical society, BUSMS, will be held in the early spring.
Managed by the ICIA, the Edge is equally seen as an opportunity to attract the city of Bath’s ever-growing local Art community to encourage creativity and the appreciation of Art within all age groups.
John Struthers, ICIA’s Director, said: “This wonderful new facility will offer students and staff access to excellent arts tuition and a programme of thought-provoking contemporary exhibitions and performances.”
The ICIA acts as the University’s coordinator for the arts and will act as an intermediatory for both University and external use of the building.
The Edge acts as the new head office for the ICIA and its 11 staff members, but has also been allocated to home the new executive Education Suite for the University’s Management Department.
The building was built as a joint project with the University’s School of Management with an entire floor of the building dedicated to the department. The Edge is to provide facilities for the School of management’s current executive development programs with the first beginning in the centre on the 12th of February.