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Sketch view of proposed building - looking east from James Street

Announcement, News

Bath College reveal initial plans for Digital and Creative Innovation Centre

 

Bath College is developing proposals for a new academic building, to be located along the northern boundary of the College with St. James’ Parade.
 
The new building is required to enable the College to better meet the skills need for the digital and creative industries and provide specialist facilities which are not currently available to students, employers and small-to-medium enterprises in the locality. It is envisaged that the new building will comprise of innovation learning spaces, public spaces and pre-incubation spaces.
 
Whilst the design of the new building is in the early stages of development, it is expected that it will comprise an additional 1,300m² of internal floor space for the College and be designed with due regard to the character of the historic buildings in the immediate context of the campus.
 

This new building will replace an existing area of car parking and a plant room, roughly on a footprint matching the extent of the adjacent parade, which formerly continued further to the west. Given that the proposed development is contained within the existing campus, it is not considered that the development will cause any detrimental impacts to existing residents or businesses.
 
The College’s consultant team has commenced pre-application discussions with BANES Council and is in the process of notifying other identified key stakeholders. A public consultation is also planned for early 2020, in advance of a planning application due to be submitted in March 2020.
 

News

Meet the Tutor – Gabrielle Malcolm (Creative Writing)

 

Gaby is one of our Love2Learn tutors, teaching Creative Writing (Love2Learn courses are Bath College’s extensive range of Leisure Courses). She’s recently had success with her book, ‘There’s something about Darcy’, which looks at the character of Mr Darcy from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and is inspired by the ‘I *heart* Darcy’ badges sold in the Jane Austen Centre in Bath.

 

Gaby loves writing, and loves teaching writing during our evening leisure classes. We caught up with her at her book signing to ask about how she got into writing, what we can expect from her book, and what she has planned for her next classes. If you’re interested in a Creative Writing course then you can get a real insight into the lessons, and Gaby’s teaching methods here!

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am a writer with a background in teaching and lecturing. I have worked in a number of universities in different parts of the world before coming to live in the environs of Bath. I have a great passion for theatre and literature and have been able to make that my life’s work.

 

How did you get into writing?

Through my academic teaching and research career. Once you write a PhD thesis you can safely say ‘I’m a writer’! It was after I had my children that I started to find ways of making it more commercial for me and soon started on scripts and content for web-series and writing for children’s theatre.

 

What drew you to Jane Austen?

That was all thanks to my mother, right from an early age. We had books everywhere and she was a teacher and a children’s author. We would sit for hours talking about literature and my mother’s appreciation for Austen’s wit and humour really got me into her novels.

 

What was the inspiration for your book ‘There’s something about Darcy’?

I was stood at a bus-stop in the city, not long after moving here, about ten years ago. I saw a girl carrying an ‘I Heart Darcy’ tote bag and it amused me and made me curious. Why this character for all the marketing and merchandise that was coming out of the tourist sites? Apart from the obvious reasons that he is handsome and rich, of course! There is more to it, and that’s what I chose to explore. Plus, it’s immense fun reading Austen again and watching all the adaptations!

 

Can you give us any sneaky insights into the content of your book?

A couple… How Darcy is like a superhero, for example. And the connections between a hero like him and an anti-hero like Count Dracula. You also get to read some of the behind-the-scenes stories of the shooting of the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth as Darcy (there, I’ve mentioned him now!).

 

Where can we pick up copies?

It’s available from 11th November, online and in bookshops, and from the publisher (Endeavour Quill) website. Plus, you can get a signed copy from the Jane Austen Centre bookstore online.

 

How did you get into teaching Creative Writing?

I came onto the Love2Learn programme to teach some leisure literature courses, about Austen and other writers, and as the demand for writing courses grew I stepped in to teach some of the groups and it’s grown from there.

 

How do you structure your Creative Writing courses?

I’m a nuts and bolts, bread and butter kind of writing tutor. I encourage creativity, but I also support potential writers into publication. I look at what’s right for you, what’s your style or preferred genre, and I help you to develop that and find a route into publication or further study. From Love2Learn I’ve had students successfully complete the MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa, get agents, and get published. So, it’s really up to you how far you want to take it. Be warned – it’s hard work!

 

What do you enjoy about teaching Creative Writing?

The students. The characters I get to meet! I have made some great friends over the years and seen them go from strength to strength. The recent winner of the Creative Writing Love2Learn prize, for example, Teresa Fowler. She is now a published poet. Her collection ‘Mixed Rhythms and Shady Rhymes‘ is amazing – I highly recommend it! It’s rare for poets to get into print and she did it with her first collection! It’s published by BLKDog Books, London, and is available online. We’re a talented bunch on the L2L writing stream!

 

Why do you think Creative Writing and Literature are important?

It’s about communication, the human need for story-telling, and the way that we grow in the world and help to shape it. Literature can open doors, and it offers so much enjoyment and opportunity. There will always be the need for it, to expand our horizons. And, take it from me, print books will never disappear. They are as strong as ever, in tandem with digital tech. There are also more ways of getting published now than at any time in the history of the human race – so be part of it, I am!

 

When can we enrol on the next course?

Courses are open for January and the rest of 2020. I offer 10 weeks of Creative Writing, and also 5 weeks (intense!) courses on Writing for Children, Writing for Publication, and Writing for Theatre. And my wonderful talented colleague Dr Kate Mattacks teaches alongside me on the 10 week course as well as delivering her own course on Writing for Well-Being. This gives you the therapeutic angle on creativity and self-expression.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Persevere, and believe in what you want to do. Rejection is standard. Most of the time, most people, will not want to read what you write. It only takes ONE acceptance, one person saying ‘Yes’ for you to get an agent or a publisher, so keep going!

 

What’s in the works for you for the future?

I am planning more non-fiction, entertaining reads. And I’m working on a novel!

 

If you’re feeling inspired by Gaby you can enrol on one of her courses by clicking here, or you can see our whole range of Love2Learn Leisure courses by clicking here.

 

We wish Gaby the best of luck with her new book, and we’re looking forward to seeing the next novel!

News

£32m investment approved by the West of England Joint Committee, giving Bath College £2m

 

More than £32 million investment in projects to drive economic growth and support residents’ skills was approved by the West of England Joint Committee on Friday 15 February.

 

Committee members agreed to invest £23.9 million from the Economic Development Fund and £7 million through the Local Growth Fund to support Bath & North East Somerset Council’s initial development works on Bath Quays North. The project will see the creation of around 200,000 square feet of offices on the Bath Quays North site in the Enterprise Zone.

 

The West of England Joint Committee also awarded Bath College more than £2 million from the Local Growth Fund to support the refurbishment of its Catering and Hospitality Education and Training Hub. This will create a state-of-the-art hub with specialist training facilities to keep pace with the growing demand for hospitality and catering sector skills.

 

Professor Steve West, Chair of the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “We are happy to approve the funding for these schemes which support our ambitions for clean and inclusive economic growth in the West of England, through improving skills opportunities for people across the region, helping more start-up businesses to develop and grow, and increasing productivity.”

 

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, said: “These are big, exciting projects that will make a real difference to our residents’ lives, boosting business, skills and job opportunities in Bath and the wider region.”

 

Councillor Paul Myers, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for Economic and Community Regeneration, said: “This funding both contributes to the physical development of key office space in Bath as well as delivering facilities essential for skills development for a future workforce and is to be welcomed. I am especially pleased that Bath continues to attract new business and with this funding we are demonstrating our commitment to economic vitality in the city and across the wider area.”

 

Laurel Penrose, Principal and CEO of Bath College: “We are delighted at the allocations of the capital funds for catering/hospitality and the next steps for the digital centre as we know how beneficial it will be to the local economy. Furthermore, it’s a real vote of confidence in Bath College’s staff and students, who will benefit greatly.”
 

The committee also invited the following colleges to develop further business cases for new projects, totalling more than £10 million, to benefit local learners and businesses:
• Bath College’s Digital and Creative Innovation Centre at the Bath city centre campus
• South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s sub-regional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths Hub, at its West of England Institute of Specialist Education campus at Stoke Gifford
• Weston College’s Animal Management Education Centre – a new education facility for the delivery of the animal management curriculum at Puxton Park.
 

The Joint Committee is the decision-making body for issues relating to the West of England Combined Authority, Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils, and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership.
 

Love2Learn, News

Try Pictorial Quilt Making this New Year

 

In the new year Bath College will be bringing you a brand new leisure course, Pictorial Quilting. This will be led by Penny Leaver Green, professional textile artist and Love2learn student herself. Penny is a graduate of Leamington Spa and Exeter University and currently works from her studio in Bristol as a professional textile artist and freelance interior design consultant.

 

We caught up with Penny to ask about the new course and what it entails.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is a pictorial quilt?

Over the past 10 years I have developed a method of quilt- making called ‘pictorial quilting‘. This is a simple but effective form of quilt-making which allows the maker to explore a theme or idea within individual squares and then work on the quilt topper as a whole. It is a is a non-traditional technique which allows for freedom of expression and personal creativity and can be as simple or sophisticated as the maker wishes. The essence lies in illustrating moments, ideas or objects through stitch and fabric to create a personal and individual piece of work.

Pictorial quilts can be made to celebrate a birthday, marriage or christening, explore a personal story or journey, investigate a favourite subject matter e.g. birds, or flowers, an event in family history; or just reflect this moment in time.

 

How did you develop the technique?

While my children were young, I felt compelled to make work for their bedrooms. This was, perhaps, the motivation to become a full time textile artist. At the time I made a few quilts for them based on nursery rhymes. Over the years I have periodically returned to making quilts on a variety of themes, from exploring native British birds as an A-Z quilt, to a very personal quilt made during a transition period in my family’s life. I have also undertaken private quilt commissions.

 

What can students expect to gain from the course?

Students will leave the course with their own small quilt and the techniques required to continue to make pictorial quilts at their leisure. They will have explored blackwork, appliqué, ribbon work, free machine embroidery and the skills required to design and stitch the quilt.

 

Do you need any prior skills?

Students need to be able to use a sewing machine and to hand stitch at a basic level.

 

If you would like to sign up, you can find the course here.

You can follow Penny’s work online and on Twitter and Instagram.

 

Until December 21st 2018 you can get 5% off all Leisure Courses with code MINCEPIE5, perfect for trying something new in the New Year!

 

 

Elisa Rossetto with plastic bag balloon

Events, News, Student Spotlight

Thank you to our Student Volunteers at Forest of Imagination

 

Last weekend saw Forest of Imagination return to the streets of Bath. The series of creative, family friendly art installations and events were helped by a group of Bath College student volunteers.
 

Elisa Rossetto (pictured above) volunteered all weekend helping on both the maze and also managing Kingsmead Square.
 

Elisa is an International student from Italy, studying English as a Second Language at Bath College as well as Photography and Graphic Design and is gearing up for her CIE exam.
 

“The best bit of Forest of Imagination was working with the giant balloon made of plastic bags.
 

“It was great to be in the middle of the square with so many people and so many activities taking place.”
 
Rhys Evans with college Forest of Imagination display
Rhys Evans, (pictured above) who is studying Level 3 Performing and Production Arts was also volunteering across the weekend, stewarding and keeping an eye on all the activities.
 

He said: “The thing about this weekend I enjoyed most was being able to work as part of a team and building my teamwork skills.
 

“I thought the best was the performances going on at the riverside, they were really good fun.”
 
Yehee volunteering
Yehee Kim (pictured above) is currently studying the University of Bath International Foundation Year course at Bath College. She volunteered as she saw it as a great opportunity to be drawn into the Bath community.
 
“One of the most memorable activities was the Confuserphones. It is a headphone connected with a twisted tunnel that fakes the place of where the sound is coming from. The principle is easy but I was so amazed about it.
 
“I was also at the Forest Den at the Kingsmead Square. I really loved it because it was a nice place to read books while stewarding. Many books with different genres were equipped on the shelves and there were log chairs that anyone could come in, grab a book and read it. I have never imagined a den library at a crowded city. Frankly, I felt like I was in a fairly tale.
 
“I do really recommend other students to volunteer for social activities held in Bath.”
 
Bath College are delighted to have been involved again with Forest of Imagination and were collecting crisp packets and plastic bags in reception to add to the installations. The Willow tree outside Roper Reception was transformed into a forest spectacle as well.
 

A big thank you to all of our student volunteers for all your hard work.
 

Forest of Imagination at Bath Abbey

Events, News

Forest of Imagination is back in Bath for 5th anniversary

 

City-based arts pop-up Forest of Imagination is to take place in Bath again tomorrow, from 28–30 September 2018, connecting people to nature with a series of fantastical forests, art trails and innovative sculptures.
 
Returning to the city for its fifth consecutive year, this year’s free event will see spaces in Kingsmead Square, down Avon Street to the River Avon at Bath Quays North, all transformed into a series of ‘Future Forests’ designed to spark people’s imaginations.
 
Bath College collecting crisp packetsBath College are delighted to be involved again and have been collecting crisp packets and plastic bags in reception to add to the installations. The Willow tree outside Roper Reception is being transformed into a forest spectacle.
 
Each Forest will offer a sensory kaleidoscope of playful installations, art trails and workshops, exploring different aspects of forest life – from the forest floor to the forest canopy.
 
This year’s event is also being launched in partnership with Bath Children’s Literature Festival (28 September – 7 October 2018), one of the city’s most popular annual events.
 
Amongst a host of creative installations by artists, schools and local businesses, highlights for this year’s Forest of Imagination event will include:

 
Forest of Imagination 2018 has been made possible thanks to generous funding from Arts Council England, Grant Associates and Herman Miller Cares, together with the support of a host of other local businesses and organisations including Bath Spa UniversityBristol ZooWessex Water and Bath BID.
 
A ‘home grown’ event, Forest of Imagination was co-founded by Bath based landscape architect Andrew Grant of Grant Associates, whose work on the iconic Gardens by the Bay featured in Planet Earth 2 – the BBC’s most watched natural history programme to date.
 
Grant Associates is part of a collective of local companies and creatives who co-design the event including arts charity 5x5x5=creativity, Bath Spa University and Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios.
 
If you would like to volunteer for the event, contact info@forestofimagination.com
 
Volunteer call out poster

 

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