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Hoe Centre

Training centre for film and television engineers shows analogue before digital.

Current affairs 1970 3 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Enter into the arena the men in white coats with their cables, all learning to be film and television broadcast engineers at the Hoe Centre of Plymouth Polytechnic. The Television Act of 1954 set up the Independent Television Authority responsible for the rollout of the commercial television network in the UK and led to training and education at dedicated technical colleges. The ITA built a network of transmitters and awarded Independent Television (ITV) franchises.

The building opened in 1952 as the Navy Army and Air Forces Institution known as the NAAFI and formed part of the postwar reconstruction of Plymouth. The building beacame Plymouth Polytechnic and then in 1992 was intergrated into the University of Plymouth. From 1980 the red brick building housed the School of Architecture but was demolished in 2010 to make way for student housing after English Heritage failed to list it. The Hoe Centre attracted students from the Commonwealth and beyond because the UK was at that time at the forefront of developments in the film and television industries, including news. The UK still generates important revenues from these creative industries today.