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Hosting His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in showcase of Manchester's student talent

News, Greater Manchester
His Royal Highness, Prince Edward visits Valo as part of his 60th birthday celebrations

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh today (23 rd February) visited Bruntwood, University Academy 92 (UA92) and Shockout, as part of a wider visit to Greater Manchester.

The visit took place at the Valo building, which is home to UA92 and Shockouts’ Old Trafford campuses. Throughout this visit, His Royal Highness will be promoting the importance of young people, the arts and his support for the sector.

While at Valo building, The Duke met with young people in higher education, as well as those studying in the performing arts at Shockout.
Evolving over the last decade, Shockout nurtures a dynamic student collective, which sites a new intersection of culture, arts and education. Accredited by the University of Bolton, Shockout continues its commitment to fostering creativity and innovation within the vocational education landscape, specifically championing local and emerging arts communities.
Shockout's mission is to make arts and culture accessible to all, whilst providing tangible opportunities for vocational and educational growth. The Valo Building, traditionally a symbol of commercial excellence, has now become a powerful statement for the transformative potential of the arts.
UA92 is a groundbreaking higher education institution co-founded by Lancaster University and Manchester United’s Class of ’92 with the aim to make higher education accessible to all through its founding principles of accessibility, social mobility and inclusivity. The organisation is focused on fully preparing graduates for the world of work by offering industry-led courses. UA92 works closely with leading industry names like Microsoft, Talk Talk, KPMG and Manchester United to provide mentoring, guest lectures and work experience opportunities, in addition to character and personal development guidance.

Bruntwood’s support for the arts, cultural and creative industries is a key part of its proposition of ‘creating thriving towns and cities’. Its partnerships with the likes of the Royal Exchange Theatre, and those forged through its connection to the Oglesby Charitable Trust, remain crucial to creating an inspiring culture and instilling collaboration amongst the city’s residents, businesses and visitors. The Trust has raised around £30 million since it started out in 2001 and currently makes grants of up to £3.5 million each year to causes, with the aim of helping communities thrive.

Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, said: “It was brilliant to be able to welcome His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh to the Valo. Helping to upskill and provide opportunities for the next generation of northwest talent is crucial to removing barriers for underserved groups to thrive.

“Bruntwood remains a champion for the growth of performing arts and creative industries, which is a key pillar in our efforts to create a vibrant culture across Greater Manchester. We’re committed to providing a platform for people to display their creativity which helps our cities develop a dynamic arts scene.”

Sara Prowse, CEO of UA92, commented: “We’re delighted to have the opportunity to introduce The Duke of Edinburgh to UA92, his work with young people has a real synergy with our mission to improve lives by making education accessible to all. Our students talked about being part of the Make It For Real programme which provides essentials such as laptops, data, lunches and travel to young people who have received free school meals at college. They also showcased the 92 Programme which, in conjunction with our industry partners, puts character and personal development at the heart of their learning – giving them a real edge in the world of work.”

Dr Sue Luke, CEO and Principle of Shockout, defines this profound impact of Shockout on the Valo Building and the community at large; "Shockout is more than a platform for young artists; it's a movement that transcends traditional artistic boundaries. The Valo Building, typically associated with corporate identity, served as a canvas for Shockout's transformative vision, proving that creativity
knows no limits."

Cllr Tom Ross, Leader of Trafford Council, said: “Having The Duke of Edinburgh visit Trafford is wonderful. “We’ve been a big supporter of UA92 because we recognise the need for people to be able to progress their education alongside their work or care commitments.”

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