£14.5m Northern School of Art taking shape

From left, Patrick Smith, chair of governors at the Northern School of Art, principal Dr Martin Raby, Tony Fitzgerald, BAM construction director, mayor Ben Houchen and Mark Farrell, BAM site manager.

Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen has visited the Middlesbrough site of the new Northern School of Art to see first-hand how the multimillion-pound project is shaping up.

The school’s college-level campus is being relocated from its previous Linthorpe base to a new architect-designed, purpose-built, three-storey building in the centre of Middlesbrough, supported by a £14.5m investment by the Tees Valley mayor and combined authority.

The mayor met the school’s principal Dr Martin Raby and chair of governors Patrick Smith to tour the site, formerly the town’s Denmark Street car park, as the new 5,200sq metre campus building nears completion. Construction is currently on track and it is expected that the building will be ready to welcome new students by the start of the new 2021 academic year.

The new teaching space, for the north’s only specialist art and design college (formerly known as Cleveland College of Art and Design), will offer a range of arts, design and film courses and complements the school’s second campus in Hartlepool. The redeveloped Hartlepool site opened its doors in 2017 following a further £8.3m investment as part of work to revitalise Church Street and develop a thriving creative industries base in the town.

Mayor Houchen said: “It was fantastic to be able to see for myself the just how far along construction on The Northern School of Art’s state-of-the-art Middlesbrough campus is.

“We agreed funding for the school’s relocation from its outdated buildings back in October 2019 and, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the project has moved on at a great pace with local contractors including Stockton’s TopLoader and Hewitson on-site. The site is well on its way to becoming a modern campus that our teachers, creatives and students can all be very proud of, in a brilliant central location that ties the school even closer to the town.

“Our region has a long and rich history in the art, design and creative sectors, with the school producing talent such as Ridley Scott. These industries are becoming increasingly important to our regional economy, and this new facility will inspire future generations of creatives from across Teesside, Darlington, Hartlepool and attract those from further afield. The school’s reputation as a national centre for excellence will give them the skills they need to succeed in good-quality careers that they feel really passionately about.

“I can’t wait to see the campus throw open its doors, welcome its students, and go on to even bigger and better things.”

The Northern School of Art’s principal Dr Martin Raby said: “We’re delighted with progress on the new campus which marks the start of an exciting new chapter for The Northern School of Art in the Tees Valley.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Tees Valley mayor, combined authority and Middlesbrough Council for their support for this project.

“The Northern School of Art offers a range of school leaver, degree and postgraduate options which prepare our students for a range of exciting roles in the creative industries.

“We have a brilliant track record in launching our students into highly successful careers. The new building provides us with a dynamic new environment, including a range of studios, workshops and specialist equipment, to ensure we maintain this record.

“We look forward to the campus continuing in our best traditions of creative education whilst providing Middlesbrough with a new landmark to be proud of – a place of skills, ambition and creativity.”

The Northern School of Art is the highest achieving college in the Tees Valley (NARTS 18/19). The new campus is currently under construction by BAM Construction North-East.