A new collaboration between community interest company Real Ideas and City College Plymouth, Devon, will benefit hundreds of students on creative courses, who will be able to take up the chance to work within some of the city’s most inspirational spaces.

This new membership agreement between the two like-minded organisations will provide students with high-quality work experience opportunities and staff will also enjoy the benefits thanks to exclusive access to a variety of workshops and collaborative projects.

Under the new membership options, City College students will be able to use a range of facilities that form the Real Ideas campus. These include The Market Hall, a world-class space for digital innovation and learning situated in the heart of Devonport. The Market Hall, which opened in the summer of 2021, is home to the state-of-the-art immersive dome, a range of flexible co-working and inspiring workspaces, large meeting rooms and event spaces, as well as a café/bar.

The students will also have access to a series of specialist creative facilities located at Ocean Studios in the Royal William Yard, with other projects in Devonport and South East Cornwall currently in development.

The agreement, which was signed by City College Chief Executive and Principal Jackie Grubb and Real Ideas Co-Founder and CEO Lindsey Hall on Thursday 13 January, marks the inaugural organisational membership scheme for the extensive Real Ideas campus and benefits programme.

Real Ideas has set up the new membership scheme with the view of developing collaborative working spaces that encourage ‘creative collisions’ within shared spaces that will drive forwards inclusivity and social mobility. Real Ideas hopes that collaborating with the College in this way will enhance the student experience by promoting work readiness through personal and professional development opportunities.

Chief Executive and Principal of City College Plymouth, Jackie Grubb, said: “This is a very exciting partnership for the College, working with a like-minded organisation that seeks to improve the opportunities available to the people of Plymouth.

“With digital skills now threading across our curriculum, coupled with the cutting-edge facilities at Market Hall and Ocean Studios, we will be providing our students with the higher digital skills that are required by employers. Our employer collaboration will also extend into digital product development and innovation being included in our training modules; essential elements as we continue to develop and use immersive technology as a teaching tool.

“Continuing to improve the experience of our students, building their confidence and preparing them for life beyond education, as well as promoting inclusivity and driving forward social mobility, will allow us to develop the skilled employees required by our city to prosper.”

Lindsey Hall, CEO of Real Ideas, said: “Our work creating our co-working and membership spaces within our campus of stunning buildings really is a game-changer in a whole host of ways. Mixing our current freelancer, business and social enterprise membership with the students and staff from City College absolutely increases the opportunities for all of us.

“With this new, extended membership we’re creating an exciting new ‘mixing bowl’ in terms of places and spaces for jobs, research, development, exploration, learning, collaboration, economic development, and secondary economic benefits, too.

“Our co-working spaces aren’t just about us providing a cool and funky backdrop for freelancers, businesses, and now students and lecturers, to use. Our co-working and membership programme is about us creating a fairer world that works for everyone; bringing together the skills and experiences of diverse people is essential for socially and economically prosperous communities and our spaces generate agency, choice and an equitable power that is vital for local communities and individuals.

“We need liveable places that value and meet the needs of everyone and our new arrangement with City College brings a refreshing new youthful injection of the next generation of young talent into the mix on a daily basis.”

In addition to the new membership agreement, City College and Real Ideas aim to work together in a long-term strategic partnership that maximises mutual benefits and supports the growth of Devonport for the local community and the wider economy of Plymouth.