BBC presenter Jeff Brown launches University’s £1.4 million facilities

Written by on 18th November 2021

Image Credit – University of Sunderland Press Office

BBC Look North presenter Jeff Brown officially opened the new University of Sunderland photography and media facilities yesterday. 

The facilities, located on St. Peter’s Campus, is home to a new photography centre, a new virtual production studio and a state-of-the-art revamp of Spark’s Studio 5. 

Lee Hall, Head of the School of Media and Communication at the University of Sunderland, said: “This is a special time to be studying media and photography at Sunderland as we continue to invest in our facilities to support our talented students on their creative journeys. 

“We are delighted that Jeff Brown, one of the North East’s most established and respected broadcasters, can see first-hand the facilities we have put in place to help our students develop the skills they need to succeed in the creative industries.” 

Spark’s new £80,000 custom-designed studio includes new wall art designed by Sunderland graduates, a new camera system that allows students to film or stream interviews, and a new height adjustable desk. 

Studio 5 was officially opened in September by BBC Radio 1 and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here star Jordan North. 

The studio was visited by the Chancellor of the University, Emeli Sandé the following month. 

Exciting plans are in the pipeline too for the future of Studio 5, as well as the virtual production studio and photography centre. 

Professor Arabella Plouviez, Academic Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland, said: “The fabulous investment we have seen in our TV, radio and photography areas, is already enabling our students to access a range of resources at the forefront of their subjects, giving them valuable hands-on experience with new technologies. 

“But there is more to come on our journey of re-imagining our Media Centre. 

“We are looking forward to delivering a fully integrated mediaHUB, reflecting the disappearing boundaries and the integrated platforms that operate across contemporary media practice. There are also plans for a new, intimate screening room that will partner our large capacity cinema supporting not just the making of media but also the experience of the viewer. 

“Our aim is to continue to develop our professional media environment whether you are interested in film, TV, podcasting, photography, animation, journalism or games, and to support our graduates into the creative industries of today and tomorrow.” 

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