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Duke and Duchess of Sussex officially open the Tech Park

Duke and Duchess of Sussex open Tech Park

The University of Chichester’s new Tech Park is officially open – by Royal appointment.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted by students and staff before unveiling a plaque at the £35million development, based at the Bognor Regis campus. The Royal couple were welcomed by University academics, students, and guests, including staff who are active members of the Armed Forces reserves.

They first visited the Tech Park’s state-of-the-art animation studio designed by Max Tyrie, Head of 3D Animation and VFX, who is a BAFTA award-winning animator and has worked on Kingsman films and Spiderman franchise. Steph Kidson, 19, is studying 3D animation and said: "They're lovely, and were very interested in what we are doing. They know a lot about the industry so we could relate to what they were saying to us."

Animation studio

From there the Duke and Duchess walked to the Engineering labs to undertake a live-action stress-testing experiment using state-of-the-art Mecmesin tensile equipment. Engineering student including Louise Grainger, who was born, raised, and schooled in Bognor Regis, was involved in the experiment.

She said: "It was nerve wracking at the beginning but they were really relaxed. Girl from Bognor gets to meet the royal couple. The Technology Park gives me the opportunities I’ve never had before and I can’t wait to start learning in its laboratories and workshops. I’m so excited that I will take my first steps into engineering in such an incredible place.”


The Royal party then visited the Sound Stage, a 300 square-metre three-storey space which is one of only three in the south capable of accommodating a professional orchestra. Here they oversaw creative and digital technologies students as they filmed a live-rehearsal of the University orchestra – and were invited to get in the action.

Welcoming the Royal couple was Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane Longmore, who said: “It is an honour to have been chosen as part of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s first official visit to the county. Not only are we welcoming the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on their first official visit to this historic county but we are also delighted that they have agreed to undertake the task of formally opening this magnificent new Engineering and Digital Technology Park.

“This is a University which takes its obligations seriously: within the West Sussex coastal region there are areas where pupils are six times less likely to enter higher education than in more affluent parts of the country. This building is a physical embodiment of our commitment to social justice, to ensuring that the children of this region have the strongest possible life chances and that they can become the engineers, technologists and film makers of the future.”

Sound Studio

The Tech Park brings together skills and expertise across both departments to create STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics – with productive opportunities for regional businesses and their employees to get involved. For more about Tech Park at the University of Chichester go to