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Ten people stood on a stage, wearing costumes and holding their fingers in a heart shape in front of their chests. The back of the stage is black, with a large red rectangle to the centre, with a hollow black heart in the middle.

Unite Students & Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

The Challenge

  • To enhance Unite Students’ brand exposure
  • To develop understanding of the business’ partnership support among students and the Cardiff community in general
  • To be seen as a company that values access / supporting services for those with disabilities

The Solution

The partnership between RWCMD and Unite Students is a continuation of a relationship with the business’ previous owner, Liberty Living, which was formed in 2011.

The new partnership enabled students across Cardiff access to free or discounted tickets for performances at the College, offering opportunities for young artists enjoy productions featuring peers and renowned industry professionals.

CultureStep investment helped the College to deliver a range of accessible performances throughout the year. This helped RWCMD to shape its future policies and performances, ensuring audience members and students with impairments have access to high quality performances.

The Results

13 surtitled and / or captioned performances were delivered, reaching an audience of 1,051. RWCMD’s caption providers gathered constructive feedback from accessible audiences across multiple arts venues reflecting inclusive and appreciative undertones. Describing accessible performances as ‘revolutionary’ for those experiencing disability as they no-longer ‘feel disabled or excluded’.

Through this project, Unite Students enhanced its brand exposure across RWCMD platforms, profiling itself as a responsible business that values access and supporting services for those with additional needs and disabilities.

The Endorsement

This project was a great success for the College, helping RWCMD to implement our Strategic Equality Plan. It has allowed us to embed accessibility into creative content across drama and music, widening community engagement and access within the D/deaf community. The College benefitted as we were able to provide 13 captioned/surtitled performances, whilst being able to observe and develop a long-term plan for accessible performances and embed these into core budgets.

Emma Parkins, Officer of Corporate Partnerships, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Unite Students experienced brand exposure to an ever-growing market. This funding sponsored accessible performances from Autumn 2021 until Spring 2023. Unite were accredited across RWCMD’s social media outlets, our website, What’s On brochures and the College’s Supporters Plaque in the main foyer. Performances were displayed with the accreditation: ‘Captioned performances are supported by Arts & Business Cymru’s CultureStep programme and Unite Students’. These benefits aligned with the company’s wider business strategy regarding equality focused on: ‘providing opportunities for all’ and recognised Unite as an organisation that accommodates those with additional needs and disabilities.

Michael Dewey, Regional General Manager, Unite Students