Kevin Crooks, who teaches Photography, will receive £10,000 from Deutsche Bank after winning the Art and Photography prize at their annual Creative Enterprise awards.
The money is to support his photographic exploration of the social and economic impact of the M62 motorway.
“I couldn’t believe it when I won,” said Kevin, who is from St Helens. “I started this project two years ago while I was studying a Masters so to receive this boost means a huge amount to me.”
Kevin was invited to the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise in London after making a shortlist of five in his category.
As well as presenting his vision and work on the project so far he also had to provide a business case for why the bank should back him.
Among the judges were chief executives from the Saatchi Gallery and Sadler’s Wells Theatre as well as filmmaker Chris Paul Daniels and representatives from the bank.
Part of Kevin’s prize will be a year of business mentoring from a Deutsche Bank executive and two days of intensive small business training.
Diana Matar, who presented Kevin with his prize, won a DBACE award in 2008 and her photography has since been shown at major international venues and published in award-winning books.
“Receiving the prize from Diana really brought home to me what this meant and what I can hopefully achieve in future,” he said.
Kevin’s project is examining how industrialisation changes the landscape, taking his inspiration from the M62.
He has looked at how the trans-Pennine motorway has impacted on both the environment and the people around it. Future explorations may also look at the road in terms of its role in the Government’s vision for a Northern Powerhouse.
DBACE has helped launch more than 177 careers and inspired many more students to consider setting up a project or enterprise of their own.
Nicole Lovett, Head of Corporate Citizenship UK at Deutsche Bank, said: “The winners of 2016 DBACE have demonstrated the potential to become successful entrepreneurs who will continue to grow the creative eco-system.”
Priestley Principal Matthew Grant said: “Kevin’s students and colleagues will undoubtedly benefit enormously from his experiences and expertise as a result of this award and his Masters Degree. The whole College is extremely proud of his achievements.”