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The Duke of York opens College digital centre
HRH The Duke of York, KG launches iCreate@BDC (Photo credit

The Duke of York opens College digital centre

3 October 2014

HRH The Duke of York, KG visited Barking & Dagenham College yesterday (2nd October) to open their new digital communications hub – iCreate@BDC.

Photography is by Barking & Dagenham College graduates Nadine Attzs and Rebecca Perry who now run A&P Photography. Both Nadine and Rebecca received first class degrees in photography from Barking & Dageham College

Cross-fertilisation of ideas, skills and services 

iCreate@BDC is a new, industry-standard 1,000 m sq training hub where students will develop the skills needed by the growing creative digital sector. Students will share the space with tech start-ups in an environment designed to encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas, skills and services.

£36 billion

According to industry figures, the creative industries which range from graphic design to TV, music and game development, grew by over 8% between 2011/12, compared to the UK average of 0.7%*.  It’s an industry worth more than £36 billion a year, employs over 1.6 million people in the UK and accounts for £1 in every £10 of the UK’s exports**.  Having the right skills in order to compete though is key, so responding to industry needs, iCreate@BDC is fully equipped with 70+ PC and Mac work stations, plus a recording studio complete with all the latest film and video technology. 

iCreate@BDC will provide one-to-one business mentoring, master classes with industry experts, inspirational speakers, industry specific training and networking opportunities. The designs and layout of the space was created by a team of 3D design students at the College, creating an environment where students and tech start-ups chance to share ideas, skills and services.

Official opening

His Royal Highness, who earlier this year launched iDEA (inspiring Digital Enterprise Award) with partners Nominet Trust to support 16-25 year olds in developing digital business ideas, was welcomed by Cathy Walsh, OBE, Principal and CEO of Barking & Dagenham College.  After enjoying a tour of the main Rush Green campus, which gave an opportunity to meet students and tutors, The Duke of York officially opened iCreate@BDC. 

His Royal Highness said:

"In many respects the digital universe has changed the way that we have to think about education and the way we have to think about employment...It is the guidance that a college like this can give young people, the opportunities by investing in this sort of space, to make the young aware that they really can not only make a difference to themselves, a difference to their locality, but also a difference in the nation. So I want today to say thank you for what Barking & Dagenham College are doing and I want to congratulate everybody for putting this together and wish you all every success."

Cathy Walsh, OBE said:

“The UK creative digital market is growing.  In fact the CBI recently suggested the UK could realistically become the leading hub for the world's creative industries within a generation ***.  As a college it is our duty to help our students and the local community connect with those growing industries and harness the skills needed to help secure future employment within them. To do that we need to make sure we can offer the right environment for talent to flourish.  iCreate@BDC does that. It will help micro businesses to grow, talent to up-skill, and new talent to find the right pathways into work.  It’s an incredible opportunity for those looking to get into the industry or are just starting out and need extra help and support.”


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