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Backstage Academy scoops triple win at Educate North Awards 2020

We are thrilled and proud to share the exciting news that Backstage Academy has won three prestigious Educate North Awards.

At the long-awaited virtual awards ceremony on Thursday 22nd April, Backstage Academy took home the win for The Student Experience Award for HE/FE, The Employer Engagement Award for HE/FE, and finally, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for our Chairman and Founder, Adrian Brooks.

“This is a fantastic reflection of the hard work and passion from students, staff and our partners at Backstage Academy, I think we can all be really proud of this achievement.

It is also particularly pleasing that the Founder of Backstage Academy, Adrian Brooks, has been awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of his contribution to the future growth of the sector.”

Rachel Nicolson, Head of Institution at Backstage Academy

The awards we won were:

The Student Experience Award for HE/FE

An award that recognises putting students at the heart of their institution, the Student Experience Award celebrates outstanding educational value and student experience.

At Backstage Academy, we are proud that our students get to experience working with industry specialists, experiment with pioneering products, and gain dream opportunities before becoming live events professionals themselves.

The judging panel identified our work opportunities programme as a particular driver of our students’ experience. By shaping the degree programmes with a substantial emphasis on student experience and employability, our students enter the world of work with a network of industry contacts, an impressive portfolio of work experience, and a passion for their craft.

Industry opportunities to date have included some of the world's largest music festivals, live music tours, theatre productions and sporting events including Glastonbury, Leeds & Reading Festivals, Ibiza Rocks, Take That, Matilda stage production and 24 Hour of Le Mans car race.

The Employer Engagement Award for HE/FE

The Employer Engagement Award recognises institutional excellence in engaging with its employers and industry professionals. Championing learning, training and development opportunities for students, potential employers and the sector’s workforce.

The judging panel highlighted our strong partnerships with industry entertainment manufacturers and distributors as a success story in employer engagement.

From masterclasses and expertise to using cutting-edge equipment, software and technology, our students experience real-life industry opportunities and experiences with world-leading companies.

We continue to achieve great success through our bespoke international training partnerships in Russia with MF Group, the Middle East with Procom and with Virgin Voyages.

And finally, in our ongoing partnerships and collaborations on commercial briefs. Just one of our success stories is with Eureka! The National Children’s Museum in Halifax. This resulted in the production of ‘Digital Dimensions’, an immersive exhibition targeted at under 11s using interactive digital technology by our first-year BA (Hons) Live Visual Design & Production students.

This award could not have been achieved without the phenomenal support we have from our industry partners. To see our roster of industry partners, please visit:

Entrepreneur of the Year Award

An award that we are especially proud to announce, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognises the entrepreneurs with the x-factor. Celebrating the unsung hero who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to achieve great success.

We are delighted that our Chairman & Founder, Adrian Brooks, has been recognised for his drive, passion and unwavering commitment to the live events industry and education of its future generations.

The judging panel recognised the achievements made possible by Adrian’s vision. From starting out as a bingo caller and road sweeper to setting up an innovative, world-leading aluminium scaffolding business, Litestructures. Adrian recognised the need for investment in live events education, and thus in 2009, Backstage Academy was born!

Backstage Academy is changing lives, giving life-altering educational experiences to our students, and countering skill shortages in the North. The subsequent creation of Production Park in 2015 has fostered regeneration and brought in millions of pounds of funding to Wakefield, supplying equipment and staging for touring concert artists including Ed Sheeran, Metallica, and Muse.

Although unassuming to this day, Adrian’s bold vision has led to innovation in the live events industry and a multi-million-pound boost to the regional economy.

“I’m thrilled for the recognition, but more than that, I am grateful to the team who have worked around me over the last 12 to 14 years to develop Backstage Academy into what it is today.”

Adrian Brooks, Founder of Backstage Academy

The Educate North Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of further and higher education institutions, recognising best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North.

We are honoured to have been in the running against our esteemed colleagues at some of the best education providers in the North. From our humble beginnings, it is a testament to the passion and love of live events from our students and staff that has made these awards possible.

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