XPLOR - The R&D Innovation Hub

Supporting Business Innovation for Advanced manufactoring, concept and Product Development, Film and TV technology solutions Including a virtual reality studio and 3D printing and scanning.


The Hub a ‘world first for the live events industry’ will include Studio 5 an arena space to be used for a variety of purposes including film, TV and commercial shoots, live music & theatre, show and band rehearsals, and serviced conferences and events.


The XPLOR project is a partnership between Wakefield Council and Backstage Academy (Training) and has secured grant funding from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Arts Council England.

Located on campus at Production Park, the £7m+ XPLOR research and innovation centre and its state-of-the-art facilities and equipment will be used to deliver a support programme for SMEs across the Leeds City Region and beyond covering specialisms such as music, TV, film, sports, corporate events, theatre and arts. 

By drawing on the expertise of both industry and academia, working together in one location, XPLOR will drive research excellence and support industrial growth in the entertainment technology and production sectors with capabilities including concept & product design, software control, automation, prototyping, testing and digital content design.

Live camera Link to see Building Progress https://api.t-lap.se/bf6913/

XPLOR has already hosted a number of events to support SMEs in the interim studio space and showcased the unique resources. The events have included bootcamps, webinars and demonstrations to demonstrate the technology and film resources already in place. A recent event ‘Art of Engineering’ was well attended and has generated interesting business engagement projects (See Below)


What is the purpose of this?


The project will;

  • See the Design and build of a 2520m2 specialist knowledge and innovation centre located at the heart of an existing cluster of businesses that support the live events industry and its supply chain of businesses
  • Deliver a range of activities to SMEs in the live events industry and related supply chain industries such as digital integration and visualisation, immersive spaces, augmented and virtual reality in production; tools and standards for touring production; manufacturing processes; new materials applications and testing, cross market application in live events work flows,
  • Identify cross sector opportunities with SMEs in other sectors
  • Deliver Specific lecture/engagement events, offer access to specialist concept/design support, make available workshop space and Meeting space/event space, provide access to international trade/industry events and facilitate Student Projects that support the industry.

Please see contact below if you would like further information.


Clare Hunt
Project Manager – Backstage Innovation Hub

Wakefield XPLOR Final evaluation

Final evaluation document