Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation will be marking the completion of renovation works to the structure of the High House Farm buildings in Purfleet on Tuesday 29 June.

The ceremony, known as ‘topping out’, where the final chimney pot will be placed on the roof of High House, marks a major milestone in the creation of the Royal Opera House Production Park, which is due to open this winter.

The £60m Royal Opera House Production Park will be the UK’s first national centre of excellence for technical skills, crafts and production for the performing arts and live music industries.

The Grade II Listed farm buildings, which form part of the 14 acre Production Park site, are being renovated to provide a range of uses to support the wider development including public spaces for events and exhibitions, spaces for craft activity and micro businesses.

Work on the farm buildings commenced in November 2009 and included a comprehensive package of repairs, refurbishment and enhancement to bring them back into use.

Once complete, the Royal Opera House Production Park will create around 250 jobs and is due to include:

  • Set and scenery construction workshops for world renowned Royal Opera House productions including a fit up area for sets and materials mimicking the main Covent Garden stage; 
  • The flagship building for the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills;
  • Training opportunities for 2,000 creative apprentices, 2,500 other 16-19 year old learners, 1,000 adult learners and 1,250 higher education learners per year
  • Dedicated spaces for independent creative businesses encouraging small and medium cultural enterprises to grow in the region.

The ceremony will be attended by partners of the overall Production Park project, together with members of High House Community Group and building contractors, Carters.