College plan to move to single city centre campus receives £5m boost

Jul 27, 2018

SEMLEP has made the award through its Local Growth Fund. It is a significant contribution towards the £38 million project to relocate the college to create a single campus in refurbished Milton Keynes Council premises in Central Milton Keynes.

The campus is due to open in summer 2021, when the college is forecasting 400 extra learners immediately and 1,800 by 2024-25.

The college’s chief operating officer Imelda Galvin said: “Milton Keynes College is delighted to receive this funding which will support our goal of moving to a single campus in the heart of Milton Keynes.

"This in turn will allow more students to access the college and mean that students choose the course they really want to study, rather than the one that’s closest to home.

“We will now move forward with our partners over the summer as our plans gather pace.”

Judith Barker, director of programmes and governance at SEMLEP added: “Milton Keynes has a very successful and growing economy. Investment in Milton Keynes College responds to the skills needs of Milton Keynes employers and confirms SEMLEP’s commitment to improving the skills offer for growing local communities in our area.” 

Bedford College has been awarded £7.5million from SEMLEP’s Local Growth Fund to carry out major improvements to its Tresham campus at Wellingborough.

The project, which will see substantial works to the Tresham college tower block, refurbishment of other buildings and improvements to the college access.

The new-look campus in Church Street will open to students in September 2020 .

The Bedford College Group chief executive Ian Pryce said: “When we were selected as the merger partner for Tresham College last year we promised to redevelop further education in Wellingborough to meet local skills needs.  Thanks to the generosity of SEMLEP in recognising the need for this provision, and with the superb support of Wellingborough Council, we can that make good our promise.”

Courses will also run from the college’s temporary campus at Croyland Hall from September, he added. “This funding will enable us to refurbish the former site in the town centre to provide a broad range of programmes for young people, adults, apprentices and employers.”

The project forecasts more than 1,000 extra learners by 2021.

Wellingborough Council leader Cllr Martin Griffiths, who is also a SEMLEP board member, said: “This announcement is amazing news for the local area on so many levels – opportunities for young people, future growth across the borough, the local economy, jobs, lifelong learning, and of course for Tresham College as part of the Bedford College Group. 

“It also gives a clear message that the borough’s doors are open to investment and growth and opportunities that address the needs of the borough and its residents.”



SEMLEP has also awarded £2.25 million from its Local Growth to Northampton College’s plans to provide a new employer-led Advanced Construction Engineering Centre at its Booth Lane Campus.

The state-of-the-art facility will develop the skills needed for the most up-to-date construction and engineering technologies. The new centre has been approved for planning and is due to start works on-site this summer.

The centre is expected to open in July next year.

College principal Pat Brennan-Barrett  said: “It is a great resource for Northamptonshire and will meet the needs of employers and students.”

SEMLEP’s director of programmes and governance Judith Barker said: “The construction sector is hugely important for our area and employers confirm major skills shortages. The level of employer engagement from the college in developing the centre’s offer is very strong.”

The college says it forecasts welcoming between 600 and 700 new learners each year by 2025-26.

Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “Northampton continues to be internationally recognised as a centre for advanced engineering, particularly within its Enterprise Zone.

"The college also has a well-established selection of courses which help support the area’s strong industry presence, and this development will help cement the town’s place as a centre of excellence for civil engineering expertise.

“These skills are vital to ensure that the region’s necessary infrastructure projects can be realised using a pool of local talent.” 

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