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Further education and colleges

Ensuring the next generation have the right skills to benefit the local economy

Education and skills bring great social and economic value to communities and enable future prosperity.

Further education colleges provide opportunities to support employer needs and ensure that also students moving from education have real employment opportunities. Colleges develop the skills and knowledge necessary for success in the market and can be aligned with local employers, whether that be through traditional education or more vocational routes such as apprenticeships. It also helps to keep young people in the area and support local businesses with a talent pipeline.

The experience we bring to colleges means we often get involved in the master planning for campus configuration, and with our role on several frameworks, customers can contract with us immediately and not waste time on a lengthy procurement process.

Decarbonising the further education college estates is more urgent than ever. In April 2023, the Department for Education published its ‘green strategy’ for education, including a requirement for all capital projects to consider carbon reduction measures, and reminding the sector that the UK aims to reduce emissions from public sector buildings by 75 per cent by 2037 compared to a 2017 baseline.

Find out about some of the buildings that are helping towns and cities to create new learning opportunities, including:

Transforming Telford town centre: The Digital Skills & Enterprise Hub

As Shropshire's largest town, Telford and Wrekin Council are transforming Telford town centre to make it a destination to live, work, study and visit.

The Station Quarter development will include commercial office space, hospitality, housing, educational facilities and public realm.

We're building The Digital Skills & Enterprise Hub. Across five floors, there will be a high-tech education facility, around 1,300 square metres of ‘business incubator space’ for start-ups in the digital sector, and a café.

One of the floors will be a new base for Telford College. It will provide an innovation centre and accelerator hub for employers, with close links to schools, business support organisations and community groups.

This base will help Telford College to collaborate more closely with local employers, creating employment opportunities and helping to keep the younger generation in the local area.

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Returning to Kettering Science Academy to create Sixth Form facilities

Having built the £26m sustainable secondary school campus in 2012, we handed over a new sixth-form extension nearly a decade later.

The sixth-form building is a three-storey facility, which is made up of classrooms, open study spaces, dining and common room areas, a café, library and lecture theatre.

An interesting feature of the new building is that it has been designed to mimic the style of a university campus, which will help to prepare any students who intend to move onto higher education after completing their studies.

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Providing upskilling opportunities to the local community at Public Sector Hub

The £7m Public Sector Hub is a mixed-use space that provides further education space for Boston College, alongside acting as East Lindsey District Council’s new headquarters.

Lincolnshire County Council conducted studies that identified the availability of upskilling opportunities in the local area as a challenge.

In response to these findings, the new facilities have enabled the college to launch a range of new adult learning courses for those aged 19+ to upskill the local community. The new college campus houses four classrooms and a digital innovation computer-based classroom.

The building includes a number of efficiency measures such as self-adjusting lighting and a PV array on the roof.

We are also using Energy Synergy TM to identify and bridge any performance gaps, which will help to drive energy efficiency and minimise energy costs. We will be monitoring the building for up to three years to ensure it is being used in the most efficient way possible.

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Creating a City Centre campus for LTE Group

Located in the heart of Manchester City Centre is the new £30m campus for LTE Group, providing new learning spaces for The Manchester College and its higher education provider UCEN Manchester.

The new building is a learning centre of excellence for creative and digital industries. Across four floors, there are a huge range of spaces available for students to learn their craft. These include:

  • Two cutting-edge industry-standard theatres
  • Film, recording and photography studios
  • Media, computing and editing suites.
  • Dance studios and rehearsal rooms,
  • Bespoke practical spaces for hospitality, media make-up and special effects
  • A 40-seat restaurant, which is run by students

With such outstanding facilities available, this is, to date, the largest investment in further education and skills in Manchester for 30 years.

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For more information, contact our local expert

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