The Earl of Wessex has opened a new arts and management centre at the University of Bath. Prince Edward, who is Chancellor of the University, attended an evening of dance and debate at The Edge before officially declaring it open.
Over 200 guests attended the gala event which signaled the arrival of this new arts facility in the West Country. The evening included a piano recital and a debate on the relationship between the arts, leadership and management, before a speech from the Earl of Wessex ahead of the official opening.
The Edge, which cost £10.9 million to build, includes teaching facilities, a theatre, a gallery and performance and rehearsal studios. It has been in use since February but the visit of The Earl of Wessex marks its formal opening. It will house ICIA, the University of Bath’s contemporary arts organisation, which focuses on producing ground breaking dance, theatre and visual arts for a wide audience and which says that the new building will allow it to bring audiences and internationally renowned artists and academics together.
Speaking before the ceremony the Vice Chancellor of the University of Bath, Glynis Breakwell, said she was delighted Prince Edward was joining them for the ceremony, adding: “our aim is that this will foster a culture of creativity and innovation”. She went on to comment that The Edge “provides a dynamic environment for creative minds and is a wonderful enhancement of our facilities here at Bath”.
The Earl of Wessex became Chancellor of the University of Bath on August 1st 2013 and was installed in a ceremony at Bath Abbey on November 7th that year. The Chancellor acts as the Chief Officer of the University in a role which involves awarding degrees, being its ceremonial head and representing the institution on the public stage. Edward has been a high profile Chancellor and just last week attended a dinner for alumni of the institution during his visit to New York.
The presence of the Earl at this latest landmark in the history of the University shows the importance he places on his role as its Chancellor as well as the already high profile that The Edge enjoys in its field.
Photo credit: Northern Ireland Office via Flickr