Academy to take lead role

Newcastle College is to build the UK's largest further education music, performance and media centre at its Rye Hill campus.

The £19 million fame academy, funded by the Learning and Skills Council and college reserves and borrowings, will accommodate 1,200 students and 50 staff.

Vee Wilkinson, director of the college's School of Music and Performing Arts, said that The Performance Academy - which will include a 250-seat theatre and dance and recording studios - would form the first stage of a strategy to bring all schools in the college onto the Rye Hill site.

Ms Wilkinson said there was "no comparison" with the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. "Lipa is solely higher education whereas our academy will offer a full range of courses from further education entry level right up to university degree level."

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