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Thistley Hough Academy shortlisted in North Staffordshire

St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, today announced the seven finalists for its national schools photography competition in celebration of the Company’s 30th anniversary.

Entitled ‘Making Places’, the competition was launched in April this year to secondary schools across England and Wales, asking GCSE art students to capture the theme of place making through the medium of photography.

Over 400 students across the UK took part in the competition which involved a series of individual schools workshops hosted by Stephen Burke, photographer for the Telegraph and the Financial Times and a member of award-winning, contemporary art organisation ‘WERK’*.

Between April and June, the workshops took place at individual St. Modwen development sites across the UK with Thistley Hough Academy attending a workshop at the Trentham Estate and Gardens. They provided the students with insightful guidance on how to encapsulate the theme of place making and a sense of community through photography, in addition to offering careers advice in this field.

In July, each participating school submitted their best entry from which the seven finalists have now been selected with Thistley Hough Academy leading the charge in North Staffordshire.

Commenting on the competition and North Staffordshire’s shortlisted entry, Stephen Burke says:

“We have had an overwhelming response to the competition and a very high standard of entry. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the workshops and engaging with the schools.

“Ryan Anderson’s entry from Thistley Hough Academy was shortlisted because it captured the essence of place making through the stunning backdrop of one St. Modwen’s largest and most successful leisure schemes in the region; The Trentham Estate and Gardens. With the award-winning Italianate Gardens in the foreground, and Capability Brown’s historic woodland in the distance, it really showcases this truly stunning estate.

“The seven finalists should be congratulated on each their entries and we look forward to unveiling the winner on the 27th September.”

Mike Herbert, St. Modwen’s Regional Director for The Trentham Estate says:

“Increasingly, we are building new schools and colleges as part of our UK-wide regeneration programme. To date we have delivered a new University campus, three colleges and three new schools and currently have 13 more such projects planned in our development pipeline. 

“With a robust schools engagement programme already in place we wanted to use our 30th anniversary to link education with regeneration, art and urban design. Not only has the photography competition achieved this but it has also enabled us to capture what regeneration looks like in 2016. Furthermore, the participating students are growing up with live regeneration projects on their doorstep and the competition has helped them to explore and appreciate the history of their community whilst understanding what it is that gives a it true sense of place and identity”.

Ryan’s entry focuses on St. Modwen’s Trentham Estate development in Staffordshire; one of the country’s top leisure destinations, attracting more than 3.2m visitors per year. The 725-acre Estate has undergone a massive regeneration programme since 2003 and offers extensive gardens and woodland, Trentham Monkey Forest, Aerial Extreme treetop adventure course, a Garden Centre, Shopping Village and 119 bedroom Premier Inn hotel.

The winning photograph will be judged by a panel of industry leading judges and announced on 27th September at a ceremony hosted by the Princes Foundation for Building Community in London. The ceremony will follow a morning ‘place making workshop’ by Max Farrell at Sir Terry Farrell’s architectural practice, also in London.

The winning prize is a state of the art camera and £3,000 towards the school’s art department.

For more information on St. Modwen’s 30th anniversary and the national schools competition, please visit