Young film enthusiasts promote Swindon’s Health Hydro at Create Studios summer school

By Nick Batten on 24 August, 2021

More than a dozen young people aged 13 to 16 have attended a summer school where they created a documentary-style film to promote Swindon’s Health Hydro and its rich history.

The free Summer School for budding filmmakers was led by creatives from the local award-winning production company, Create Studios, with support from Swindon’s Heritage Action Zone and Historic England’s Heritage Schools programme. 

The three-day Summer School programme was a fusion of history and filmmaking, including guided tours around the Health Hydro and talks from local partners such as the Friends of the Health Hydro. From pre-production to post-production, the participants learned about all things film, and captured a unique moment in the grade II* listed Health Hydro’s story. 

Many of the participants hope to enter the creative industries and through this Summer School, they will now have the opportunity to add to their CVs, as well as joining in more training opportunities with Create Studios, including its MassMedia weekly programme which will relaunch at the end of September.

Using their new creative knowledge, the young people will showcase the amazing efforts currently taking place to refurbish and restore an integral part of Swindon’s cultural history. 

Earlier this year, the Health Hydro on Milton Road was one of several recipients of the £19.5m allocations awarded to Swindon in the Chancellor’s budget announcements. The fund will help boost the local economy here in Swindon and regenerate parts of the historic town centre. Create Studios will be using some of the funds for a new landmark media production facility at the Carriage Works. 

Shahina Johnson, MBE, Artistic Director of Create Studios said, “We are delighted to have offered another opportunity for Swindon young people to be growing film skills by celebrating a wonderful heritage story from the town. We’re so proud to have supported a great alumni of young people who have gone on to work nationally and internationally in the creative industries, and it’s exciting to think our next Swindon success stories will come from this Hype for the Hydro Production Team.”

Michael Gorely, Local Heritage Education Manager at Historic England South West, added, “One of the key aims of the Swindon Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) is to promote the Railway Village as a place of historical interest, particularly amongst younger people with little awareness of Swindon’s railway history. So this opportunity to teach filmmaking skills to a group of local teenagers and at the same time produce a film that can be used to promote the Health Hydro ahead of its refurbishment is doubly rewarding.”

The summer school ran last week on Thursday 19th and Friday 20th of August.

A spokesperson for the event added, “It went really well. All the young people enjoyed themselves and the outcome of that will be a documentary style video celebrating the Hydro using the footage they captured.”