‘World class’ £6.5m arts centre will develop talent

The Sir Michael Wilkins Art Centre.
The Sir Michael Wilkins Art Centre.

Creative youngsters at Outwood Grange Academy will develop their talents in a newly-opened “world class” £6.5m arts facility.

The Sir Michael Wilkins Arts Centre features a performance space, art studios, galleries and music recording suites for pupils to hone their skills in.

Executive principal of Outwood Grange Academies Trust Julie Slater said: “We are delighted the arts centre has now opened. It provides students and visiting artists with world class facilities that enables the arts to flourish at the academy and is an important development in the estate’s strategy to provide the best learning environments.”

The 3,000m² site was designed by Leeds-based Bowman Riley Architects alongside the academy.

It is the second major project the architects have undertaken at the school after designing a £2.6m sports centre and performance space in 2011.

Bowman Riley Architects, director Laurence Teeney said: “The new arts centre is the fantastic result of a close collaborative relationship with the team at the Outwood Grange Academy Trust.

“Everyone was on board to create a forward-thinking building that meets the needs of the teaching staff and students today and in the future.”

The centre is named after the academy’s principal and chief executive, who was knighted in 2014 for outstanding service to education.