Tring Park School for the Performing Arts has embarked on a drive to raise £12 million to improve and enhance its facilities to ensure that it remains at the forefront of creating opportunities for young people while protecting and preserving its history.
The school’s alumni includes Daisy Ridley (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Lily James (Disney’s Cinderella, Downton Abbey and War and Peace) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey) and is one of the top performing arts schools in the UK. Talented young people aged eight to 18 who have a passion for dance, drama, musical theatre and commercial music can combine performing arts training with an academic education.
Housed in a building that was built to a design by Sir Christopher Wren in 1685, the school has experienced an increase in the number of applicants year on year, however it does not have the space or the facilities to cope with this potential increase in students applying to attend the school.
Tring Park currently has 335 pupils from ages four to 18, with a mix of day and boarders, however marketing director Miriam Juviler said the increasing popularity of the school has led the leadership team and governors to identity aspects of the school’s facilities that need improvement.
He said: “Our first priority is to create more space for pupils to rehearse, perform, learn and live so we have designed a new building on campus that will have a large art studio, classrooms and workshops. We hope to start work on this after Easter 2017.
“The second priority is the construction of a new accommodation block with boarding space for 70 extra pupils, with plans to start work on this by early summer 2018.
“The third and final proposal is to build a new theatre that will not only be used by the school, but will also be available for the community. it will be a multi-purpose space that will host a range of activities, from frequent community events to theatre-in-the-round and larger West End-inspired productions. This new space will not replace the existing on-site, Markova Theatre, which will remain as a rehearsal and performance space.”
The recent success of former Tring Park pupils, Daisy Ridley and Lily James, currently starring in the BBC’s adaptation of War and Peace, has turned the spotlight on the Hertfordshire school. Miriam Juviler said: “Daisy, Lily and Jessica are a shining example of what a great education in performing Tring Park can offer and their success has already led to an increase in enquiries from parents with children keen to follow a career in performing.”