Royal tour of University of Chichester tech park revealed

The University of Chichester has revealed the tour the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will make of its new £35million tech park in Bognor Regis next Wednesday.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 1:18 pm
Updated Friday, 28th September 2018, 1:19 pm

Prince Harry and Meghan are due to officially open the new state-of-the-art facilities during their visit to West Sussex, announced yesterday.

The royal couple will meet students, staff and business partners and see teaching demonstrations using the engineering and creative digital design technology, which includes a sound stage and animation studio.

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Cutaway image of the new Tech Park at the University of Chichester's Bognor Regis campus

Professor Jane Longmore, vice-chancellor of the University of Chichester, said: “It is an honour to have been chosen as part of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first official visit to the county.

“We are looking forward to welcoming them to our new Tech Park building on the Bognor Regis campus, from which we aim to create a positive impact not just through cutting-edge research, but also in up-skilling of the local workforce and driving forward the regional economy.”

The visit will include the university’s state-of-the-art live animation studio designed by Max Tyrie, head of 3D Animation and VFX, and a BAFTA award-winning animator who has worked on films such as the Amazing Spiderman franchise and the first and second Kingsman films.

Max will host an active workshop with students studying for the University’s 3D Animation and Visual Effects degree.

From there the royal party will visit the 400-square metre engineering labs where they will see a live-action stress-testing experiment using state-of-the-art Mecmesin tensile test equipment.

The equipment is one of only two in use in Europe (the other is in Zurich) and it is manufactured by a company in Horsham.

Their Royal Highnesses will meet a number of engineering students including Louise Grainger, who was born, raised and schooled in Bognor Regis and is the first member of her family to attend university.

The Duke and Duchess will then visit Stage 1: Sound Stage, the largest of its kind at any UK university.

During the session, the royal couple will see the stage in full operation to illustrate the unique learning environment that the Tech Park can offer.

The production (a filmed recording of the University’s award-winning 20-piece chamber orchestra) will utilise the full repertoire of state-of-the-art recording equipment, including cranes and tracks for the cameras, lighting and sound systems used in the film industry, all coordinated by a 30-plus cohort of students, flanked by senior staff.

Overseeing the production will be Professor Stephen Baysted, who has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra to score the soundtracks to several award-winning video games.

It is hoped the Tech Park will bring together skills and expertise across other departments in the University to boost ‘STEAM’ subjects – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – with productive opportunities for regional businesses and their employees to get involved.