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The Westminster story began in 1838, when Sir George Cayley opened the Polytechnic Institution at 309 Regent Street in London. In 1881, philanthropist Quintin Hogg bought the Royal Polytechnic Institution building and moved his Young Men’s Christian Institute into 309 Regent Street, which soon became the publicly funded Regent Street Polytechnic. Since then, our education institution has secured a reputation as a place for firsts. These include: the first polytechnic in London and one of the first in the UK (1838) the opening of the first public photographic portrait studio in Europe (1841) the venue for the first public moving picture show in the UK, organised by the Lumière brothers (1896) organising the first marathon race (at the London Olympics) over the now traditional distance of 26 miles, 385 yards (1908) offering the first degree courses in Photographic Science, Photography, and Media Studies (1960s and 1970s) the first modern university to win the Queen’s Award for Enterprise – International T
 
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