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£13 Million boost for Wellingborough

08.05.2018

A £13 million upgrade in educational facilities in Wellingborough is on the cards thanks to The Bedford College Group.

Using modern technology and solar and other sustainable power sources, the refurbishment could revive the existing Church Street College location and lead to the recruitment of extra students and staff who will boost the town centre economy.

Following a merger in the summer of 2017 Tresham College became part of The Bedford College Group which is centred upon multi-award-winning Bedford College. Work to rebuild Tresham College’s Wellingborough campus had been scuppered before the merger, but the new group has put a case to two powerful funding bodies.

Group CEO Ian Pryce CBE whose team sought funding for new premises via SEMLEP (South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership) and a European Regional Development Fund.

“Before the merger plans for a redevelopment at Wellingborough had already been halted, but the demolition of part of the site was already committed,” explained Mr Pryce,

“From the rubble we have a vision of new-look tower block and motor vehicle centre as well as a revitalised main hall, in total 5,400 sq ft, offering a range of courses required by the community.

“We recognise the demand for quality post-16 skills training by local employers to support the regional economy and to that end have kept some training going at Wellingborough whilst work continues on site.

“In the meantime courses will be run at temporary accommodation until property improvements at the Church Street site can be completed by September 2020.

“We are immensely grateful to Wellingborough Council for all the help and support given to us and we look forward to sharing with them every celebration on this journey.”

Church Street is a key gateway to the town centre, boasting great transport links and good access to the shops. The proposed improvements to the Tresham campus will keep an education facility in Wellingborough.

Wellingborough Councillor Martin Griffiths said: “The new education facilities will help provide a much needed Further Education site for not only the borough, but neighbouring districts too. Retaining a college in a town centre location will help to promote access by public transport and assist in the future vitality of the town centre. It will also encourage the student population to access other services.”

Confirmation of the funding bids should follow later this year  (2018) and work by The Bedford College Group estates team will be begin as soon as they have the green light.

Motor vehicles courses which are still going on at Church Street, will continue throughout the build process. Once the refurbishment is complete, a broader range of courses will be on offer than ever before – all meeting the demands of the regional economy and the employment aspirations of Northamptonshire people.

NEWS FLASH: EXTRA New full-time courses will be on offer from THIS September (2018) to those who want to sign up over the summer. These will be housed at a fully-equipped temporary town centre location of Croyland Hall.

Courses include Business, Health & Social Care, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Computer Science and IT, as well as University Access courses for adults who wish to progress to a degree but don’t have the qualifications required.

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