VIP guests impressed by college campus

Cleveland College of Art and Design principal Martin Raby (centre) chats with Sir John and
Cleveland College of Art and Design principal Martin Raby (centre) chats with Sir John and

AN art college welcomed a prestigious guest as it celebrated the official opening of a new campus.

Cleveland College of Art and Design celebrated its expansion with the new Hartlepool Higher Education Campus, in Church Square.

The opening was carried out by business ambassador and arts supporter Sir John Sorrell CBE, who the college has close links with.

Invited guests enjoyed a lunch and tour of the new campus in the former Municipal Building.

College principal Martin Raby said: “We are delighted that Sir John and Lady Frances were able to come for our opening as they are an integral part of the art world.

“Sir John launched the National Saturday Club which provides funding for young people to access art and the college is a big partner of that.”

During his career, Sir John Sorrell, ran Newell and Sorrell, one of Europe’s biggest and most successful design businesses with his wife Lady Frances.

He said: “We are delighted to be here today and are really impressed with the new building.

“The quality of the students’ work is absolutely stunning.”

The college bought the Municipal, Leadbitter and Archive buildings, in Church Square, from Hartlepool Borough Council as part of a £1.7m investment programme in its buildings.

The Municipal Building, which has been used by students since October, is home to the college’s creative film and moving image department as well as a new lecture theatre and IT facilities.

Nicola Craddock, marketing officer for the college, said: “The move has gone fantastic. The building really lends itself to an art college which is what we wanted.

“It is complemented by the Leadbitter and Archive buildings. We have returned all the original features of the library.”

Last night, the college held a preview night for its summer exhibition of graduates’ work.

It is on show to the public at the main college building in Church Square, from now until June 16.