Lord Puttnam Formally Opens Wakefield Media Centre


Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam will mark a celebration of Wakefield’s creative renaissance by formally opening the city’s Media and Creativity Centre on Thursday September 8th

Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam will mark a celebration of Wakefield’s creative renaissance by formally opening the city’s Media and Creativity Centre on Thursday September 8th.

To celebrate the occasion, and provide a lasting record of his visit, he will make a Hollywood-style cast of his hands which will be made into a work of art to be displayed at the Wakefield Media Centre.

Lord Puttnam will also unveil a new piece of public art at the Centre called ‘The world is full of propaganda:where is the truth?’ by Californian artist Jay Jones.

His visit will also include a special reception at The Orangery, Wakefield, to mark a celebration of Creative Wakefield where new city centre cultural initiatives are being highlighted - including plans for a new Creative Centre for the Built Environment, the development of the city’s Theatre Royal and Opera House, and a new Art House facility providing art studio space, particularly for those with disabilities.

Commenting on his visit Lord Puttnam said: “The creative industries, including new media, are an important and growing sector for future employment. It also happens to be a sector in which we in the U.K. are among the world’s leaders. The Wakefield Media Centre is an excellent example of a public and private sector partnership which is contributing to job creation, skills development and in every respect positively supporting the life and culture of the wider community.”

The Wakefield Media Centre at King Street, Wakefield is home to a thriving group of creative businesses and also has an unusual claim to fame as Britain’s only moo-ing building. The Centre’s creative landmark features the sound of two cows moo-ing – a work created by Californian audio sculpturist Jay Jones.

The Media Centre development combines quality workspace for innovative businesses and provides a focal point for the creative and media industries for the Wakefield District as well as acting as a catalyst for encouraging business development in the media industries sector.

The Centre recently established a partnership with the University of Huddersfield to create a Business Generator unit offering a range of business incubation support services for new start up companies.

The Centre also includes a range of public facilities including the ‘Art of Propaganda gallery’, the world’s first exhibition space dedicated to how perceptions are shaped and moulded.

The gallery has already featured a range of challenging and thought-provoking exhibitions on subjects ranging from the profound, such as ‘Images of Auschwitz’ commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Nazi death camp’s liberation, through to posing questions such as ‘Does Yorkshire Exist?’ and a seasonal exhibition on the ‘Twelve Propaganda Myths of Christmas’ to the more offbeat subjects of ‘Join Me’ on how leading comedy writer Danny Wallace created a worldwide personal cult and ‘Was the Moon landing a conspiracy?’

The Wakefield Media Centre was made possible with the help and support of first, the development agency for the Wakefield district and has also received financial support from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Centre also features a more conventional sculpture, called the ‘Power of Communications’ which is made of recycled copper and steel, characterises how media broadcasts on a number of levels and engages with our different senses.

The sculpture is the work of artist John Milsom, a Wakefield-based sculptor whose other works include exhibits on show at the Wakefield Art Gallery and around Hardcastle Crags at Hebden Bridge.

The fame of the Centre is spreading internationally. It was used as a case study of outstanding practice at the international Creative Clusters Conference. The Wakefield Media Centre was included as an example alongside New York’s cultural quarter, Liverpool’s ‘City of Culture’ bid and Amsterdam’s Creative Vision to show how creative industries can take a lead in urban regeneration.

The Centre is home to a number of pioneering innovative businesses including:

eleventeenth, an award-wining Internet company, based in Wakefield and employing 17 people. It works at the cutting edge of new media technology and is putting Wakefield on the map for innovation, creativity and intelligent use of technology.

GREEN communications, one of Yorkshire’s top brand marketing and public relations consultancies. The company works for a wide range of blue chip companies including Warburtons, LINPAC Plastics and Netto Foodstores.

creativity@work, a consultancy enabling organisations to unleash their creative potential by providing a range of training, facilitating and coaching services. It has helped a number of major international companies including L’Oreal, Ford Motor Company and NCR.

C2 Events is also based at the Media centre. The company works for a range of blue chip clients delivering solutions in event organisation and management.

“The Media Centre is an ideal workspace for creative businesses offering high quality facilities with the benefits of working in a community of like-minded businesses who offer each other inspiration and support as well as generating new opportunities for each other.” said Ian Green, a director of the Wakefield Media Centre.