Entertainment lighting supplier White Light has long had a commitment to training current and future theatre technicians through its Training Initiative and education scheme. As part of this commitment, White Light, in conjunction with Strand Lighting, recently donated a Strand 550 lighting console to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

"We have worked with the Bristol Old Vic School on a number of projects, and have been continually impressed by the standard of their students and the quality of their work," comments Jason Larcombe, White Light's training coordinator. "When we were approached by Paul Towson, the school's lighting tutor, regarding potential sponsorship of a lighting console, we were more than happy to help."

To help the Theatre School, White Light teamed up with console manufacturer Strand Lighting to supply an example of what is considered the current 'industry-standard' lighting console in British theatre, found in many of the touring and repertory theatres around the UK, on touring shows and on West End productions including, currently, Anything Goes, Jerry Springer - The Opera, Les Misérables, The Phantom Of The Opera, Tell Me On A Sunday , and many more. "A Strand 500-series console is perfect for education and training at this level," comments Jason Larcombe, "since students need a console that is easy to use, flexible, powerful - and also one that they are likely to encounter in the field as they move beyond college."

The console was presented to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School by Bill Richards of Strand Lighting and Roger Hennigan of White Light, and is now installed in the school's new lighting and performance studio. The console has already proved popular with students, and as part of the package White Light and Strand will be providing training in the operation of the console to both students and lecturers.

This donation is just one of the many projects through which White Light's Training Initiative supports those in training to form the next generation of lighting designers and technicians. "White Light supports all the major drama colleges and universities with resources and training," notes Jason Larcombe. "However, regional centres are so often upstaged by their London rivals: we were therefore delighted to be able to support such a good college in this prime South West location."

The Training Initiative also offers specialist courses and workshops tailored to drama colleges and universities and delivered at White Light's Wimbledon base or on-site at a college. The Training Initiative also provides a wide range of courses and seminars for those already working in the industry, and the popular White Light Student Lighting Design Bursary scheme, now in its sixth year. Further information about The Training Initiative can be found at www.whitelightraining.co.uk.