New centre for live entertainment industry provides jobs boost for Yorkshire's former mining heartland

A research and innovation centre for entertainment technology and production is set to provide an economic boost for an area which was once part of Yorkshire’s mining heartland.

The centre - known as XPLOR - has reached a significant milestone with the installation of the building’s steel frame.

The external steel structure for XPLOR’s Studio 005 has now been fully installed by delivery partner Triton Construction. The building, which is in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, is set to open in summer 2022.

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A spokesman said: “XPLOR will drive experimentation and excellence, and support the disruptive growth of vital live entertainment industries across live events, music, TV, film, and the creative arts.

The external steel structure for XPLOR’s Studio 005 has now been fully installed by delivery partner Triton Construction. The building, which is in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire, is set to open in summer 2022.

“XPLOR will be part of Production Park, a South Kirkby based community of studios and businesses, as well as educational and research facilities collaborating to put together the world’s greatest entertainment experiences and grow the people that power them.”

Coun Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Economic Growth and Property, said: “This is a really exciting and important partnership project, which will help to attract new businesses and investment to Wakefield, as well as developing those we already have here, increasing skill levels and creating jobs for our residents.”

Jim Farmery, Development Director said: “We’re extremely excited to mark this significant milestone in the construction of XPLOR. The centre will be a great addition to the Production Park community.”

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XPLOR has been made possible by a partnership between Backstage Academy and Wakefield Council, along with grant funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and supported by Cultural Development Fund (CDF).