Blackpool and the Fylde College: Cyber Labs


Samsung smart signage displays

Unicol brackets


Netgear switches

BenQ screens

Extron touch panels


​​​​​​​Audio visual case study blackpool

Established in 1892 as Fleetwood’s School for Fishermen, Lancashire’s Blackpool and the Fylde College has a rich history in both Higher and Further Education, offering a wide range of courses across a spectrum of specialities.

Recently the College has undergone extensive regeneration across its six campuses, allowing it to grow while pioneering the likes of the government’s new T-Level qualification.

University Centre, Blackpool and the Fylde


At its University Centre location, the College aimed to create two new innovative media suites for its Cyber Security and Network Engineering courses. Just minutes from the town’s famous seafront, this ambitious project would require two identical adjoining classrooms to be completely refitted with new ceilings, lighting, blinds, furniture, electricals and network infrastructure to deliver one of the College’s flagship facilities.

Aiming to further position itself as a leader in cyber security education, the College required a hands-on, collaborative facility that cultivates practical learning and real-world experience, replicating scenarios hackers competing with network security teams in real-time. Each identical space also needed to feature interactive teaching screens and large display walls to show up to 16 workstations in a variety of bespoke layouts.

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Working with others

Working alongside a number of other contractors and with just a week to turn these spaces around from standard classrooms into fully functioning Cyber Labs, several logistical challenges were overcome to deliver these spaces on time.

Project Managed by Technical Sales Executive Sean Lester, it was essential to be able to draw on GVAV’s wealth of experience with a multitude of factors coming together simultaneously. Effective communication with the client and other contractors was maintained at every stage of the project to ensure the installation process was as fluid as possible.

Image: During the one-week installation period, many contractors and multiple trades were working closely alongside each other.

blackpool and the fylde logo"With 8 days to install (losing two days due to bank holidays), it was always going to be a huge undertaking, especially as other trades were working alongside GVAV. Carpenters, painters, electricians and I were on site for the duration and because of this everyone had to work in tandem with each other.

The GVAV lads genuinely worked incredibly hard (Dan, Jamie, John and Sean) to not only install but to aid with supporting the electricians on their power points and data for the screens, as well as being easy to work with, informative and willing to find solutions rather than focusing on any problems."

Jamie Shields - Buildings Project Manager | Blackpool and the Fylde College

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Room-filling display

For the main display in each room, the client wanted to fill an entire wall with digital content, giving the flexibility to switch between teaching materials and multi-casted relay of student displays. In the planning phase, GVAV identified the 98” QB98T Samsung 4K smart signage displays as the best solution. Rotated into portrait, linking together three of these models would provide over 3.5 metres of ultra HD display to cover the wall.

Chosen for their adaptability, these signage displays also have anti-glare technology to counter the effects of the light from the room’s low ceiling. Mounted with Unicol wall brackets, the Samsung’s symmetrical, narrow-bezel design creates a near seamless video wall experience for the room’s main display.

To direct content to the new displays, a Blustream multi-cast system was installed, comprising of 34 IP500UHD transmitters and six receivers running over a new 1GB network via a NETGEAR GSM4230PX managed switch. A Blustream ACM210 Advanced Control Module is the brains of the system, allowing interfacing and controlling distribution of each of the sources across the main display.

The teaching focus display in each room is a wall-mounted 86” BENQ RM03 interactive screen. This gives teaching staff the ability to easily share content from their laptop, tablet or smartphone and illustrate for enhanced collaboration and engagement.

custom designed GUI on an Extron touch panel

An Extron TLP Pro 7” touch panel is installed in each room to control the large video wall’s input through the new system, meaning teaching staff have effortless and intuitive control from basic on-off capability to dynamic layout selection.

Visually inspired by the facility’s teaching subject, a bespoke GUI was designed in-house by the GVAV Technical Team with two main display modes. Presentation Mode replicates the BENQ teaching display onto the Samsung video wall, while Cyber Mode displays a combination of pupils’ PC screens with various layout options. Each room is also able to pull content from the other room thanks to the system’s design.

The combination of flexible devices installed within an adaptable system means that the client now has an innovative, state-of-the-art facility fit for the courses that will be taught there.

Cyber labs in Blackpool and the Fylde College

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Comprehensive solution

Between two rooms, this new resource will be a valuable asset to the College, helping attract the brightest up-and-coming cyber security professionals, while sending students well-prepared into a competitive industry with real-world experience.

The installation, final product and finish look incredible. Fantastic team, fantastic delivery and overall, one of the most positive interactions I have had with contractors across the board.

Look forward to working with you again and thank you for making my job easier as a project manager.

Jamie Shields

Buildings Project Manager, Blackpool and the Fylde College

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