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Centre of Excellence for the Screen Based Industries to be Developed at Pinewood Studios

14 January 2013

Pinewood Studios and Amersham & Wycombe College have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to explore the creation of a Centre of Excellence at Pinewood Studios to develop and deliver qualifications for all elements of the screen based industries including film, television, animation and video games.

The centre of excellence will be delivered in conjunction with the proposed expansion of Pinewood Studios known as the Pinewood Studios Development Framework. Focusing on delivering a number of priorities outlined in the Next Gen report that was spearheaded by Ian Livingstone OBE, Alex Hope OBE and Nesta, the centre of excellence will concentrate on programmes that focus on Visual Effects (2D and 3D, FX, animation and rigging, pipeline and compositing), Video Games (applications development, design and production management, technology, games programming and graphical user interfaces) and High-performance/Large Scale Support Services and Infrastructure such as data warehousing and wrangling.

The centre of excellence will also continue to develop programmes in areas that do not have a computer science foundation, but nevertheless are crucial for the industry, for example studio management, sound engineering and production.

It is envisaged that most of the students on-site will be apprentices and that the majority of these students will be aged 16-24 years old. Pinewood and the College will be open to considering innovative delivery models, such as Apprenticeship Training Agencies (ATA’s) so that talented students can easily be made available for project work to the tenant network based at Pinewood Studio, made up of around 200 independent media related businesses, to give students access to real, on the job training and access to industry professionals.

Andrew Smith, Director of Strategy and Communication at Pinewood Studios said: “We are thrilled to be announcing these plans today to develop a centre of excellence for the screen based industries here at Pinewood. We hope it will help to provide the next generation of talent with the skills they need to turn their ideas into commercial success. By basing the centre at Pinewood it will allow students to work with and learn from industry colleagues who are at the top of their game, working on award winning and international productions on a daily basis. We are especially pleased that this announcement comes as the government introduces its new system of tax relief for high end TV, animation and video games.”

Gill Clipson, Principal and CEO of Amersham and Wycombe College said: “We are thrilled to be collaborating with Pinewood Studios on such an important and innovative project. We will be providing fantastic learning opportunities that allow young people to work with industry experts, become work ready and gain qualifications that have been designed for and by employers.”

Ian Livingstone OBE, Life President Eidos and Chair Next Gen Skills said: “I am passionate to see the UK nurture its digital creative industries and I’m delighted to see Pinewood Studios collaborating with educators to provide new routes of training for young people and help bring to fruition the priorities outlined in the Next Gen report.”

Alex Hope OBE, Managing Director Double Negative Ltd said: “It is fantastic to have Pinewood Studios look at ways to support the development of the next generation of talent in VFX and Animation.”