North Kensington Centre for Skills celebrates official opening after £13.5m redevelopment
Morley’s Chelsea Centre is getting a bold new look this month ahead of renewing its curriculum offer over the coming months.
Known as the Chelsea Centre for the Creative Industries, the Centre will offer learning at all levels, both for 16-18-year-olds and for adults, including the brand new BTEC in Esports, which offers students the opportunity to live stream, produce digital assets, work as a team and launch an Esports enterprise, all whilst competing and analysing their skills.
Centre Principal Matias Shortcook said: “The Chelsea Centre for the Creative Industries is a unique art school in the middle of London that offers amazing experiences whether you’re aged 16 or 60. There’s nowhere else with this much diversity of choice, with industry experts teaching you and the ability to start at any level. Esports is just the beginning of a bold adventure where we will build on our long-standing reputation of excellence in the arts, and we can’t wait to talk more about our new vision later this year.”
And at Morley’s North Kensington Centre, the opening of the Morley Heart Gardens hints at major changes to come over the coming two years as multi-million-pound refurbishment plans come to fruition.
The Gardens – constructed over the summer by students working with local entrepreneur Tayshan Hayden-Smith, and with support from the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation’s Green Shoots Fund – reiterate the Centre’s place at the heart of the community affected by the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
Craig Hanlon-Smith, Centre Principal, said: “We were honoured to work with Tayshan Hayden-Smith on this project; his ‘Grow to Know’ company is a wonderful venture to have emerged following the Grenfell tragedy. These gardens are already inspiring new students and staff to spend time sitting reflectively in the renovated space. Having been developed as part of a youth and community engagement project over the summer, this has given us new ideas for curriculum development and is a positive first step in the story of the new Morley College North Kensington Centre ahead of the exciting redevelopment of the building.”
The completion of the new step-free front entrance and the inauguration of the ‘fifth plinth’ represents a significant milestone in the first phase of works to transform Morley’s Waterloo site, which also includes a total remodelling of the main reception area and construction of two state-of-the-art Morley Radio studios.
September has also seen work begin on a top-to-toe renovation of Morley Gallery, due for completion in early 2021. The new facility will be significantly larger than the one it replaces, fully accessible and a class-leading space for showcasing students’ work, the Morley College permanent collection and visiting exhibitions.