Students complete first year of course in CECA first

Published Monday, 15th July 2019

The first students to use a new state-of-the-art computer suite at The Centre for Excellence in Creative Arts (CECA) in Hartlepool have successfully completed the first year of their course.

The Year 10 students from St Hild’s Church of England School, High Tunstall College of Science and Manor Community Academy are studying for a Level 2 qualification in Computer Games, Animation and VFX (visual effects).

They have been attending CECA twice a week since last September and will move onto the second year of the course after the summer holidays.

The course is delivered by Hartlepool Sixth Form College and provides a clear pathway to a Level 3 qualification at the college for those wishing to continue with the subject.

Using the latest software and hardware, the students have produced 2D games, 3D game levels, game design documents, concept art, 3D models, VFX sequences and digital images. They have also learnt about the gaming, animation and VFX industries and the career paths they offer.

Lyndsey Reavey, Assistant Headteacher at High Tunstall College of Science, said: “The students have found the course very enjoyable and can see how it will improve their skills ready to enter the future workforce.

“They understand that in the future there will be jobs that are not even invented at the moment, and they see this course as being extremely beneficial in terms of preparing for these massive shifts and changes. They enjoy having skills that their peers do not have, and they appreciate the opportunity that has been given to them.”


One student said: “The standard of technology at CECA is second to none”, while another commented: “This course has helped me see that I can achieve a job in the industry”.

Places are available for next year’s course, starting in September, and parents should speak to their child’s school directly if he or she is interested in attending. CECA is also offering a Level 2 qualification in Technical Theatre Support, again starting in September, for pupils moving into Year 10.

Funded by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and run by Hartlepool Borough Council, CECA opened to the public last September with the purpose of serving as a training centre for the creative industries, whilst also offering facilities for commercial hire. The centre houses facilities for TV broadcasting and film making, sound engineering, theatre, coding, gaming and VFX.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “It’s great to see Combined Authority funding bring this centre back to life and turn it into such a fantastic facility for the young stars of tomorrow. Our tech and digital sectors are thriving and growing, with local companies doing amazing things in the fields of gaming, VR and augmented reality. It’s essential that we create the spaces and the opportunities for our young people to learn and arm them with the skills required to take up these exciting opportunities”.

Councillor Shane Moore, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, added: “As an authority, we saw a unique opportunity to develop CECA to help local young people take advantage of job opportunities in the expanding creative industries sector, and I am delighted to see that our commitment is beginning to pay off.”

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