Nothing ‘common’ about new Bath facility

Distinguished Academy Award-winning film producer Lord Puttnam opens Bath Spa University’s new academic building

President of the Film Distributors’ Association, Lord Puttnam CBE has officially opened ‘Commons’ at Bath Spa University’s Newton Park campus.

A large number of the University’s staff, students and guests attended the celebratory launch event, with over 30 staff and student collaborative projects animating the building and demonstrating the wide range of talent and expertise at the University.  

During the opening event Lord Puttnam showed a new, seven-minute film made in collaboration with Duncan Kenworthy OBE – ‘100 Years of British Cinema’. Other highlights included a digital installation by award-winning visual artist Julian Opie on the building’s impressive 6.85 meter high media wall; and a sculpture, ‘L’Âge d’Or (Green)’ by British artist and Bath Spa Professor of Art and Design Gavin Turk in the landscaped grounds surrounding Commons.

Professor Christina Slade, Vice-Chancellor at Bath Spa University said: “I was delighted to see so many staff, students and distinguished guests attend the opening of our exciting new academic building ‘Commons’.

“The student experience is at the heart of Bath Spa University and we have been through a significant period of investment and development over the last few years to ensure our students benefit from outstanding facilities as well as academic expertise.

Lord Puttnam CBE added: “Having walked around Commons, the facilities are absolutely stunning. All of a sudden and for the first time in long time, I wanted to be 18 years old again and going to university, it is quite remarkable.

“I left the movie industry when it was still analogue and where you could look through the film, but this is a wonderful digital facility which is going to produce a lot of talented people. This is the sort of facility that any university anywhere in the world would envy.”

Lord Puttnam has a long and illustrious career as an independent producer and his films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D’Or at Cannes. His films include The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle.