1947 - ?

Bretton Hall College was founded in 1947 by Sir Alec Clegg, Chief Education Officer of the West Riding of Yorkshire County Council beginning as a training college for teachers of music, art and drama with courses awarded by the University of Leeds. In the late 1970s the college began to offer degrees in the disciplines of art, music, education, social studies, and drama. Drama students were able to specialise in theatre acting, directing, design, technology, writing, dance, management, and dramaturgy. Bretton Hall maintained an outstanding reputation in teaching excellence through the exploration of creative approaches to arts education and learning, and by engaging with the community via external partnerships. Around the end of the century Bretton Hall was a college of education, arts, and humanities with over two thousand students. In 2001 the popularity of studying theatre and performance led to further expansion and saw the creation of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at Bretton Hall College and in 2007 the School relocated to the University of Leeds campus into the University’s purpose built and officially licensed theatre with dedicated performance spaces, specialist facilities and a studio theatre named after Sir Alec Clegg. Suffolk artist students include Neil Hanger and Susie Yates.