College in talks to take over Bedford High School buildings

Feb 06, 2012


The college is the preferred bidder to lease the main school buildings, Trinity Church and the Sports and Performing Arts complex on Bromham Road once they become vacant in September.
If the deal with the school’s owner the Bedford Charity (Harpur Trust) goes ahead, the college plans to use the buildings for classroom-based activity and will operate the SPA facilities that will allow existing clients to continue with their classes and club activities.
The college and the Bedford Charity are discussing a ten-year lease. However, it will not include buildings in nearby Adelaide Square or The Crescent. Their future is still to be decided.
If the deal is concluded, Bedford College plans to convert its Cauldwell Street campus into an advanced technology centre.
College principal and chief executive Ian Pryce said: “Our intention is to maintain the educational buildings for that purpose and to preserve local education history.
"In the last fortnight the college has won a major bid to quadruple its full-time Higher Education (degree level learning) numbers and we need to accommodate that growth. 
"The High School building is a perfect environment for such work.”
Harpur Trust chief executive David Russell said: “The opportunity to work with the College to expand and develop the educational opportunities and facilities for young people in Bedford is an exciting prospect; they need the space and we have the buildings so a ten year lease offers us both an ideal solution.”
The trust and the college are looking to agree the lease by Easter.
The Bedford High School buildings will become vacant by the end of August when the school finally completes its merger with Dame Alice Harpur School to form Bedford Girls’ Schools on Cardington Road.
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