An animation company which is credited for work on some big-name films and TV shows has revealed plans to relocate its headquarters – to a former NatWest branch in Stoke town centre.
Carse and Waterman is transforming the three-storey building, in Campbell Place, Stoke, into its new base after making the decision to move out of it former home at Federation House.
The company has already started to move its new offices to the first floor of the building; and work is already underway to transform the ground floor into a digital and creative skills hub for the city.
The hub – called Framescape – is a not-for-profit community asset which aims to put Stoke-on-Trent on the map and make the city part of the ‘digital revolution’.
The ambitious development – which involves London-based Dreamscape Studios and Popcorn Learning Media – will feature a classroom and a 17-seat film viewing room and will be accessible to anyone with ambitions of a creative industries career.
Daniel Waterman, co-founder of Carse and Waterman, said: “2020 has been an odd year and coronavirus has hit many industries hard, but it also gave us time to work on out plans for our new building.
“We see this development as having multiple level benefits for the city. There’s a regeneration element, in that we want to breathe new life into Stoke High Street and renovate a large, disused building.
“It is also a headquarters for our company, provides production space for Dreamscape and the digital skills hub will focus on raising aspirations and signposting our city’s young people towards potential careers.
“During lockdown, we launched a collaboration with the city’s YMCA to talk about digital skills and we hope that’s just the start. All young people have digital skills nowadays and we want them to think how they can harness them to build a good career.
“Lockdown also highlighted the digital divide with too many families struggling with home schooling due to a lack of access to basic technology. It is an area where we believe we can help.”
Daniel – who will run Framescape as a separate entity alongside Eric Gresswell of Popcorn Learning Media – added: “Stoke-on-Trent has always been a hotbed of creativity, from Josiah Wedgwood onwards. There’s no reason why our new creative future shouldn’t involve the digital industries. Young people can use the digital skills they all learn in schools to build a career in film, animation, visual effects, software development and much more.
“We want Framescape to inspire and open a gateway for young people.”
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Carse and Waterman – which boasts a team of seven – has worked on some major projects over the past decade including a music video for The Prodigy, a successful advert campaign for banking-giant Santander and the Kidulthood film series.
The award-winning company has also worked on ITV’s The Keith and Paddy Picture Show, Sky One comedy TV show There’s Something About Movies and BBC comedy Inside Number 9, as well as commercial projects for clients such as Michelin, the NHS and tourist attractions including Trentham Gardens.
Daniel said: “Stoke-on-Trent was a powerhouse of the first industrial revolution and we’re determined to raise aspirations and make the city part of the new digital revolution.”
For more information about Framescape visit www.framescapeedu.co.uk.