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John Nike boost for SHP digital hub

Published: 18 Aug 2013 12:300 comments

A BRACKNELL tycoon has injected more cash into a digital project.

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John Nike has offered to fund South Hill Park's (SHP) digital media centre for the next five years - having already contributed £100,000 over the past decade.

The humble businessman will hand over a further £10,000 a year from 2014-2019 - in a bid to improve the Birch Hill arts centre's digital offerings.

He told the News: "The youth of today is growing up and I think it's very important that we have a digital facility for the community. Where better than SHP, which is well-equipped?

"It's been 10 years and I'm delighted to commence a further five years as of the new year."

He insisted there is no competition between SHP and the John Nike Leisure Centre - both of which put on Christmas shows every year - but that the two centres actually complement each other.

Geoffrey Taylor, chairman of the SHP board of trustees, agreed with this sentiment and said he was delighted with Mr Nike's continued support.

The digital media centre has even been named the 'John Nike Suite' in recognition of his contribution and a plaque was placed outside the door of the room on Friday.

Mr Taylor said: "Everybody in Bracknell knows someone, some organisation or charity, who has been helped by John Nike. That's an absolute certainty. It [the digital centre] is changing the scope of entertainment and the arts. It's all about encouraging young people."

Boffins at the centre have been testing out a range of innovative ideas, particularly over the past 12 months.

The most significant scheme has been its 'live-streaming' project, where it has aired theatrical performances via a live internet feed.

"Live streaming, although it's a very fledgling project, is something that we see as the future," added Mr Taylor. "And we want to be part of that

at SHP."

Last year's panto - Jack And The Beanstalk - was shown in several children's hospitals as part of the initiative. The digital workshop room, on the first floor of the mansion, is equipped with multimedia software and offers a range of courses, from software training to creative technology weekends and video and animation

production work.

To find out more about the arts centre's digital offering, see www.southhillpark.org.uk

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