Backstage Academy Scores Educate North Awards Hat Trick


April 28, 2021

Backstage Academy has been recognised for its regional service across education and the live events sector after it claimed top spot for three categories at this year’s virtual Educate North Awards.

The annual Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of further and higher education institutions across the region, recognising best practice and excellence in the educational sector.

Offering degrees, short courses and bespoke training in the live events industry, the South-Kirby-based institution achieved recognition from judges across three categories: the Student Experience Award, the Employer Engagement Award and Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Academy’s Chairman and Founder, Adrian Brooks.

Rachel Nicholson, the head of institution, says the clutch of award wins will further bolster Backstage Academy’s trophy cabinet, as it sets its sights on full University accreditation over the next few years.

“This is a fantastic reflection of the hard work and passion from our students, staff and partners at Backstage Academy, which I think we can all be really proud of,” Nicholson said. “It is also particularly pleasing that the Founder of Backstage Academy, Adrian Brooks, was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in recognition of his contribution to the future growth of the sector.”

Backstage Academy was recognised by the judging panel for the Student Experience Award for putting students at the heart of their institution, whilst the Employer Engagement Award recognised the institution’s excellence in engaging with employers and industry professionals.

The judges celebrated the Academy’s outstanding educational value, student experience and its focus on arming students with the skills to excel in the industry.

“From industry-partner masterclasses to hands on use of cutting-edge equipment, software and technology, our students experience real-life industry opportunities and experiences with world-leading companies day-in day-out,” Nicholson stated. “We’re proud that our students get to experience working with industry specialists, experiment with pioneering products, and gain dream opportunities before becoming live events professionals themselves.”

Nicholson added: “The judging panel identified our work opportunities programme as a particular driver of our students’ experience. By shaping the degree programmes with a substantial emphasis on student experience and employability, our students enter the world of work with a network of industry contacts, an impressive portfolio of work experience, and a passion for their craft. We’re also delighted that our Chairman & Founder, Adrian Brooks, was recognised for his drive, passion and unwavering commitment to the live events industry and education of its future generations.”

Nicholson concluded: “The judging panel recognised Adrian’s vision; from starting out as a bingo caller and road sweeper, to setting up an innovative, world-leading aluminium scaffolding business, Litestructures. It was then that Adrian recognised the need for investment in live events education before he launched the academy in 2009. We are honoured to have been in the running against some of the best education providers across the North. From our humble beginnings, it is a testament to the passion and love of live events from our students and staff that has made these awards possible.”

On his award win, Adrian Brooks said: “I’m thrilled for the recognition, but more than that, I am grateful to the team who have worked around me over the last 12 to 14 years to develop Backstage Academy into what it is today.”

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