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Harvey Group take centre stage at the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama

Harvey Group PLC have been engaged to Develop and Install the Mechanical & Electrical Building services at the new £16.7m Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

The new North Block building will improve the campus's provisions and provide access to cutting-edge arts facilities for both students and the local community, further cementing the School's reputation as a North London (Camden) cultural hub.

The works will extend the school's teaching, rehearsal and performance spaces, and will include the addition of studios with a focus on training for film/ media and a new public, courtyard theatre.

The North Block will replace the outdated, temporary Studio 1 building (located on Buckland Crescent) and will provide the School with greatly needed additional teaching, rehearsal and performance spaces, enabling students and staff to work together on the newly consolidated site and experience improved learning and teaching environments. The additional space will also provide the School with opportunities to expand its youth work and to contribute more comprehensively to cultural offerings in the local area.

Central's Principal, Professor Gavin Henderson said:

This is a tremendous time for Central, as we forge ahead with greatly increased funding for World Leading research and now doubled funding for our Teaching and Learning also assessed as World Leading. We can proceed with added confidence to start on site with our new building, bringing state of the art studios to enhance facilities that are already considered to be amongst the best in our sector. We are grateful to all who have helped bring us to this turning point in Central's history.”

Central is one of the world's pre-eminent conservatoires for the performing arts. With over 100 years of history, its alumni can be found in every avenue of the creative industries and include such luminary figures as Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Michael Grandage, Sonia Friedman, Deborah Warner, Martin Freeman, Andrew Garfield and Kit Harington. Its ratio of undergraduate applications to places is the highest of any UK university, and the past 18 months have seen both its institution-specific funding and its research grant allocations increased in recognition of its independently adjudged world- leading teaching and research programmes.

Founded in 1906 at the Royal Albert Hall, the School moved to the Embassy Theatre in 1956 and it is upon this historic site that it continues to grow.

Work on the North Block is expected to begin in July/August 2016 with a projected completion date in early 2018 and the school will remain in use throughout the construction process.