Thousands of costumes played centre stage at the official opening of the new Royal Opera House costume centre by Communities Secretary Greg Clark today (15 October 2015).
The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume centre will house more than 20,000 costumes for opera and ballet productions as well as the Royal Opera House archive collection, which includes over 6,000 items dating back to the 18th century.
Backed with multi-million pound government funding, the state-of-the-art costume centre and surrounding area, is re-energising the Thames Gateway and helping it become a world leader in the creative and cultural industries.
It includes £2.1 million funding for the centre itself through the European Regional Development Fund, while a further £5 million secured through the South East Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal will help deliver the wider plans for the Purfleet area - including proposals to build over 2,000 new homes, regeneration of the town centre and a new TV and film studios in Purfleet, which will include Europe’s largest indoor water tank.
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said:
I’m delighted to open the Royal Opera House’s fantastic new costume centre which will put Thurrock firmly on the cultural map of Britain.
Backed by multi-million pound government funding this state-of-the-art production park and surrounding area is fast becoming a key location for growing arts companies, which in turn will lead to thousands of new homes and jobs.
The government is committed to supporting the UK’s creative industries which contribute billions to the UK economy each year and employs over 2.6 million people. Recent government figures suggest the industry is growing at approximately three times as fast as the wider UK economy.
The National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries on the High House Production Park is part of a new wave of employer-led National Colleges to help the UK develop world-class skills in key sectors. Up to £80 million of capital funding for the National Colleges which will be matched by employers over 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017 – a potential total investment of £160 million by 2017.