Liverpool Hope University has officially launched its newly-renovated School for Creative and Performing Arts on the edge of the city.
The Grade II-listed Cornerstone building, at the heart of the site on Shaw Street, has been transformed with an ultra-modern café, open-plan food court, graphic design studio and a musical technology laboratory.
A new Arts Centre has also been opened alongside Shaw Street, with Fine Art studios, a film viewing gallery and exhibition rooms for students and external artists to showcase their work.
It is also home to Milapfest, Britain’s leading Indian arts development trust, and the European Opera Centre.
Deputy Mayor of Liverpool Gary Millar was one of many guests at the school's special launch event on Thursday (7th February), featuring student performances of song, poetry and big band music along with guided tours of the campus for people who attended.
Since buying the once derelict building, formerly St Francis Xavier's School, in 1997 the University has invested more than £50m to establish an award-wining campus for its creative and performance subjects.
It is Liverpool Hope's second base along with its Hope Park Campus on Taggart Avenue in Childwall.
The renovation of its Cornerstone Building and later the addition of a purpose-built theatre, the Capstone, boosted regeneration in Everton.
In 1999, the Gerard Manley Hopkins Hall of Residence and Cornerstone Building were officially opened to students, with HRH The Prince of Wales visiting the campus in 2000. Its eye-catching Great Hall has hosted many important events including Her majesty, the Queen’s, visit in 2004.
The campus also has teaching and performance theatres, a new arts studio, black box performance spaces and a recording studio.
And it has been awarded the coveted 'All-Steinway School' status, one of only a few in the UK; with its Capstone Theatre home to a £120,000 Steinway Model D piano, a 18th century chamber organ, harpsichords and a variety of other Steinway pianos.
There are also cutting-edge facilities for graphic design, painting, sculpture, wood, ceramics, metal and textiles.
Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope University, described the decision to overhaul the campus as an “investment in our students and staff”.
He said: “We designed the space so that we could all be together and work together in an integrated School for the Creative and Performing Arts.
"I’m a firm believer that staff and students must gather together in spaces that foster creativity and lateral-thinking, and what we have now is a beautiful space in which to do this. I hope this new space will bring a joyful existence.”