AN aspirational town with inspirational people.
That’s how Nicola Craddock sees Hartlepool and she is in a perfect position to judge.
She is the marketing and student recruitment manager for Cleveland College of Art & Design which has backed the new campaign because they see the town as a crucial part of their future.
The college’s Church Square campus in Hartlepool now has university level status. Its 2015 prospectus will be out soon and it will be aiming at a national audience. It’s up against competitors all over the country but the stunning shots of the Headland, North Gare and other areas of town just might hold a little extra sway.
But the college will never turn away local talent and the new Hartlepool Mail campaign is an ideal fit, said Nicola.
“Hartlepool is at the heart of everything we do. We are bringing people in to the local economy and our hope is that people will stay here.”
This is the place where 570 higher education students hone their creative skills.
Where legendary film director Ridley Scott did a foundation arts course. Where David Coverdale, the lead singer with hard rock band Whitesnake, studied.
Bob the Builder creator Curtis Jobling went there. So did cartoonist Steve Bell. Other graduates have gone on to work with Disney, the BBC, Channel 4.
It’s a place where students have been learning all sorts of cultural skills since 1874.
The facilities are just as beautiful as the alumni.
An ornate and historic lecture theatre, areas for people to set up their own artistic businesses, an art cafe, and dedicated studio areas.
There’s been a £1.5m investment recently in its historic buildings, and the services within them are top-notch.
For the artistic, there’s a digital laser cutter, fabric printer, knitting machines, digital HD equipment, and a library with 25,000 books.
The accommodation is some of the lowest weekly rental costs in the country, and its going to get even better when more accommodation is added.
Courses cover everything from production design to textiles, costume interpretation to photography, TV and films to graphic communication and fashion to illustration.
Why is it so successful?
Nicola said: “It is easy to take for granted what we have here.
“From the artist’s point of view, this is a town with an industrial landscape and a seascape. Hartlepool is amazing for what it has on its doorstep and for what it can offer as a student experience. We want to make it an inspirational place that you always want to go to.”
This isn’t a college to rest on its impressive laurels either. It wants to make its mark on a younger generation.
“We will be running a lot of shorter courses in the future, especially a Saturday Club for people aged eight to 12, and 12 to 16. That will be in September.”