Metro mayor formally opens new £7m media and tech learning centre at WISE

Photo of two men standing either side of a plaque mounted on an easel.
Metro mayor Dan Norris (right) declaring the new Brunel Centre open, with Oliver Bruce, a former SGS College student who is now MD of Pinpoint Media.

West of England mayor Dan Norris visited Stoke Gifford in early September to formally open a new £7 million learning centre at South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s WISE Campus.

Designed with sustainability and wellbeing at its heart, the new Brunel Centre is home to a variety of science, technology, engineering, art and media provision and will be used by many thousands of learners over the coming years.

Photo of a college building.
The Brunel Centre at the WISE Campus of South Gloucestershire and Stroud College in New Road, Stoke Gifford.

The facilities include a new industry-standard TV studio in which college staff will work alongside sector leaders to help develop future presenters, producers and digital content editors.

The new TV studio will bolster the college’s sports journalism programme, whose students already have access to top professional sports teams that train from WISE, including Bristol City Women’s FC, Bath City FC and the Bristol Flyers.

The centre also features a state-of-the-art gaming arena where learners will be able to combine their skills in e-sports, business, media and video games design, enabling them to develop their entrepreneurial skills and their own brand and content.

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SGS group chief executive Kevin Hamblin said:

“The centre will provide increased capacity in the area for the next generation of scientists, technicians, engineers and creatives, and inspire them to push harder to achieve their educational goals. Credit must be given to the West of England Combined Authority who had the foresight and confidence to make this investment, as it will provide a world-class environment for another 400 students a year to study at SGS.”

Sara-Jane Watkins, SGS College principal, added:

“Bristol and the West of England are booming in terms of digital media and the Brunel building will help provide the much-needed supply of talented new recruits to this vibrant sector with our media, film & TV, visual effects and animation programmes.”

Photo of a person talking to three other in a hi-tech studio room.
A member of staff talks to the VIP guests in one of the hi-tech studio rooms.

Metro mayor Dan Norris said:

“This is a great building, with a great name. I know the next generation of world leading engineers, scientists, technicians and creatives are raring to go. Our young people will shape all our futures, so there’s nothing more important than providing what’s needed to help them unlock their true potential. I visited this wonderful new learning centre earlier this year when it was still being built – and loved the bright, airy space. It’s so exciting it is now ready for the students. This is exactly the type of facility where their talents can be nurtured, and their confidence can soar. What an amazing place to be able to study.”


The Brunel Centre project was funded by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership through the Local Growth Fund, administered by the West of England Combined Authority.

This article originally appeared in the October 2021 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on pages 26 & 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, nine times a year, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

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