New chapter for former Radio Broadland studios saved from demolition
- Credit: UEA
A Grade II-listed building in Norwich which used to house a popular radio station will now be used to train the broadcast journalists of the future.
Radio Broadland broadcast from 47-49 Colegate for 35 years, up until its demise in May 2019.
The building, part of which dates back to the 18th century, was put up for sale that month for £895,000, but by October the price had fallen dramatically to £349,000.
But just days before the studios were to be demolished, UEA's broadcast journalism course director Mark Wells spotted them and thought it was "too good an opportunity to miss".
The university has signed a 10-year lease with owners Our Place, and the studios will be used by students hoping to be the radio stars of the future.
Prof Wells said: "Our Place quickly put demolition on hold, and gave the university the opportunity to develop a plan to make use of the site's unique features."
UEA has been granted permission to use the facilities for education by Norwich City Council, and the studios have now been kitted out with industry-standard equipment.
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Teaching and meeting spaces have been created to go alongside a radio presentation area and a television news studio.
Former Radio Broadland presenter Chrissie Jackson said it was "a fabulous opportunity for our future broadcasting faces and voices".
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"My first audition was in Studio 2 in Colegate. I remember the feeling that I’d finally found what I wanted to do with my life. I love the fact that those studios will be buzzing with people again," she said.
Prof Wells added it was well-timed as the course had outgrown the space available at EPIC studios, which UEA had used for the last decade.
He said: "From this central location, students will be within easy reach of the all city and county authorities, its usually flourishing arts and performance locations – and of course, Gentleman's Walk and the market place – where it's always possible to find interesting opinions."
Masters student Maja Anushka Park-Roesel said: "I’m really looking forward to having another space in the heart of Norwich to work and investigate from. Being able to get to grips with cameras and microphones is a great way to learn practically."