The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama will reinforce its position at the heart of Scotland’s creative industries when one of its most successful alumni formally opens the new campus in Glasgow.
Actor, director and humanitarian David Hayman, who attended the RSAMD between 1966-9, will officially open the £6million purpose-built, Speirs Locks Studios on Thursday 28 October, along with one of the Academy’s youngest students, 14-year-old James Fox.
David Hayman, who has spent half of his career directing theatre, films and TV as well as running a Humanitarian Organisation, Spirit Aid, said: “This is not only a major milestone in the illustrious history of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama but it also marks a significant moment in the continued development of Scotland’s thriving cultural industries. The RSAMD is one of the finest conservatoires in the world and these unique new facilities will only serve to enhance the reputation and international standing of the Academy in the years to come. Simply put, there is nothing quite like the Speirs Locks Studios anywhere else in the UK and I am delighted that the vision for a new world class performance and production campus in Glasgow has now become a reality.”
And James, who attends the Academy’s Dramaworks programme, described opening the new campus as “an honour and a privilege”. The third year Largs Academy pupil said: “The Academy is a really exciting place to study acting and I've learnt so much in my two years at Dramaworks. I have been aware of the great talent that the Academy has produced in the past such as James McAvoy, David Tennent and of course, David Hayman. They all speak very highly of the excellent training they experienced here and how this had helped them become such well respected actors. I feel very privileged to be part of the Academy and I hope that one day with its help, I too may achieve some of this success.”
The state-of-the-art studios provide some of the most advanced performance and rehearsal facilities in the UK and create the perfect environment for the Academy to build on its global reputation for the provision world class performing arts training.
The development of the campus has been carefully managed and is a key element in a long term strategy to transform the canal-side area around Speirs Locks into a creative hub for the arts in Scotland.
Principal of the Academy, Professor John Wallace, said: “The Academy is one of Scotland’s core institutions and these new facilities are for the most crucial component of this institution – our students.
“Spreading the Academy’s campus into North Glasgow is part of the City’s regeneration agenda for this part of Maryhill, Port Dundas and Possil and we have plans for our facilities to be used more widely by local schools and community groups.
“Speirs Locks Studios highlights what the conservatoire sector can do for the United Kingdom. We are upping Scotland’s game to meet the demands of an increasingly competitive global environment in the arts and entertainment world. These facilities are part of the future of the young people of Scotland and our mission is to develop these young people into the global citizens and world leaders of tomorrow.”
Speirs Locks Studios on Garscube Road houses four large dance studios, a Gyrotonics Suite, extensive wardrobe and design facilities, several machine halls for set design, building, prop making and paint frame plus changing and shower facilities. The design of the building is based on the award winning Scottish Ballet HQ at Tramway with architect Malcolm Fraser behind both projects. The four dance studios occupy more than 628m2, and the technical, production and teaching spaces take up 1166m2.
The new studios, which have been refurbished out of four industrial units, are part of a wider urban regeneration plan which will see the creation of an arts hub in the Speirs Locks area, with Scottish Opera and the National Theatre of Scotland as neighbours.
The Academy has and continues to work closely with Glasgow City Council, North Glasgow Regeneration, ISIS and British Waterways Scotland to realise this vision with the opening coming on the back of several recent developments including the linking of the City Centre to the Speirs Locks area via the Phoenix Flowers.
Speirs Locks Studios was built at a cost of £6million with 90% of the funding made up from private donations, the RSAMD Endowment Trust and the Academy’s own reserves. The remaining £0.5million came from the Scottish Funding Council.
Eventually, the learning and teaching of 200 students of modern ballet, musical theatre and technical and production arts will be based at the new creative campus.
The development of Speirs Locks Studios allows for refurbishment of vacated space at the Academy’s main campus on Renfrew Street.
For more information, contact Katie Bell on or 0141 270 8387 (direct) 07961 782240 (mobile), Email K.Bell@rsamd.ac.uk