A new media academy for veterans was given the royal seal of approval on Wednesday as the Duke of York officially opened the course.

Fifteen service leavers and veterans, who have just started a course at the new Forces Media Academy in Chalfont St Peter, met the royal as he took a tour of the building and unveiled a plaque.

The academy, in Narcot Lane, will provide ex-service personnel with the training, experience, and qualifications they need for future careers in videography, digital, TV or radio by taking on a one-year Higher National Certificate (HNC) media production course, run by the Services Sound & Vision Corporation (SSVC).

The Duke of York, who is royal patron of SSVC, said: “To provide a course like this, for either retiring or leaving veteran service personnel, is absolutely second-to-none. There are a number of media organisations in this country, who are looking for additional skills…They are looking for core skills of resilience, the ability to be able to deliver work unsupervised and to be able to get on with things in a way that the servicemen and women can do.”

The academy was set up with a £1.8 million grant from the Chancellor’s LIBOR Fund, while £800,000 from the Royal British Legion will cover the living expenses for 15 students annually for the next three years.

It is open to anyone who has served, whether in the regulars or as a reservist, and personnel with an interest in the media can apply for the September 2018 course if they are in their last year of service.

Visit www.forcesacademy.com for more information.