Fresh from helping to anchor the BBC’s Jubilee coverage, Reeta Chakrabarti was in York to open a building with the ‘wow’ factor.
The leading journalist and presenter of the BBC news is also Chancellor of York St John University.
And in that role she officially launched the £15m Creative Centre at its Lord Mayor’s Walk campus.
The centre is a purpose-built, three-storey creative space housing a theatre, computer science facilities and music production and performance rooms.
It has been in use since October, but various Covid concerns postponed the official opening until today (Thursday).
Reeta told YorkMix: “I came to visit it a few months ago, and thought wow – I mean, it just blew me away.
“It is the best of modern architecture – it’s so full of natural light. And it’s also a great mix of formal and informal.”
Reeta said she was honoured to be asked to be chancellor, and the family-feel of YSJ meant she felt “very close to the culture and the aspirations of the university”.
“It’s also in the heart of York – and that appealed to me, because I feel it’s very much part of the city. I know the university wants to be seen that way and wants to have its doors open to members of the public as well.”
Vice chancellor Prof Karen Bryan agreed: “We very much value working with the local community, with local creative organisations. And this does give us really key facilities for that partnership working.
“We have a full programme of performance groups coming in performing to our students, and working with our students. We’ve got some theatre companies using the auditorium, which just looks like a professional theatre.”