Access All Areas: An explosive evening for careers in live entertainment

One of the UK’s hidden gems of the live events industry and learning is lifting the curtain on its secrets to encourage some of West Yorkshire’s most talented students to head to university.  Production Park in South Kirkby is the ‘go to’ location for the world’s top performers when planning their live events. A creative hub, it is home to every element of live events from set construction through to rehearsals and tour catering. It is also home to Backstage Academy where the next generation of live events technicians learn their skills and work towards degree accredited qualifications.

On Thursday April 26, we collaborated with Production Park to offer our Wakefield NCOP schools information and advice about the creative events industry. Students and their parents experienced a variety of performances, heard from students and professionals from the live events industry and then took part in workshops and demonstrations from some of the region’s best Higher Education institutions.

The students witnessed the diversity of courses and career options including planning, staging, lighting, catering, costume design and make up and had the chance to quiz live events practitioners. They also got an insight from Glen Rowe, MD, of Backstage Academy about his own career as a tour director of for Muse.

Minsthorpe Community College and Airedale Academy kicked of the day with their own incredible performances which had been planned by students from conception through to on stage delivery.

Glen Rowe said: “I have had a fantastically rewarding and diverse career in live events. No two days are the same because you are never in the same location for long. In addition, it is a growing industry contributing £90bn plus annually to the UK economy and offering opportunities to skilled and ambitious young people in sectors including planning, staging, lighting, catering, costume design and make up.”

“Here at Production Park we work with the world’s leading artists and their designers to bring their dreams to reality. The best way to demonstrate what we do and how we do it is to bring young people in and show them how they can be part of it.

“Our Access all Areas collaboration with Go Higher West Yorkshire is designed to prove that degree course are designed to be relevant and lead to rewarding careers. Our lecturers are industry experts, who still work in live events and help their students gain exciting work experience.

Adrian Brooks, Chair of Production Park said: “The live events industry is vibrant and thriving. Employment in the Creative Industries is growing four per cent faster than the standard UK rate and graduates from our Backstage Academy have great earning potential when they leave our degree courses. During their time with us they also get to work on actual major live events and get a real taste for the industry while seeing career opportunities they could never have imagined. The sector is constantly changing, and we want to promote these excellent opportunities to local young people and their families.”

Helen Sykes, Partnership Manager at Go Higher West Yorkshire commented: “This is a great event to highlight the wide range of higher education courses available and providers young people can choose from which offer exciting and vocational higher education qualifications.”


The following schools/colleges attended and took part on the day:

  • Airedale Academy
  • Wakefield College
  • New College Pontefract
  • St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School
  • Featherstone Academy
  • Kings School
  • De Lacy Academy
  • Outwood Academy Hemsworth

Watch our video below: