Skip to main content

Colleges merge from 1 March 2023

Central Bedfordshire College Campus (Dunstable).

The Bedford College Group is cementing its position as No 1 provider of post-16 education in the region as it merges with Central Beds College.

While other FE colleges across the UK have in recent years fallen short in managing finance issues, the Group maintained its “Outstanding” health grade, meaning its income remains strong.

With the merger with Central Beds College, the Group will rise from a £60 Million a year college to an £76 Million organisation with staff numbers rising from 1,000+ to 1,400  As part of that step up, structural changes in management have already been implemented across the Group in Bedford and Northamptonshire.

Staff outside Central Beds College.
Staff waving outside Central Beds College.
Staff at Central Beds College.
Staff at Central Beds College holding 'Together' sign.

Serving communities

Ian Pryce CBE remains CEO, a post he has held for nearly 25 years, but the title of Principal has been allocated to the individuals charged with heading up the Bedford and Northants (Tresham College campuses).

Central Beds College Acting Principal Sarah Mortimer is welcomed to the Group.

“Our mission is to be an indispensable resource for the communities we serve across Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire,”

said Ian Pryce CBE.


Central Beds College and University Centre Logo.

Working together

Central Bedfordshire College, which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, serves communities across southern Central Bedfordshire and Luton, with campuses in Dunstable, Houghton Regis and Leighton Buzzard.

For both students and staff at Central Bedfordshire College it is ‘business as usual’ with classes and courses continuing as expected. Behind the scenes, the management teams and governing bodies will be working closely together to ensure a seamless transition, and to put plans in place to expand the educational offer to meet the future skills needs of Central Bedfordshire and Luton communities.

Prof James Crabbe JP, Chair of The Corporation at CBC, said:

“I am delighted to say that the Governing Body of Central Bedfordshire College agreed to a merger with The Bedford College Group. The merger will allow our vision of skills and vocational education for our region, which we as a College have developed over many years, to become an actuality, with enormous benefits for our learners, our staff, local employers and the community of Bedfordshire as a whole.  I am confident that this merger of our College, with its strong culture of an inclusive, calm and caring environment for learners and staff, will fit well with the ethos of The Bedford College Group, and could become a model for mergers in the FE sector.”

Allan Schofield, Chair of The Corporation at TBCG:

 “The Bedford College Group is delighted to have been selected as the merger partner for Central Bedfordshire College.  It brings together the two largest post-16 educators in the local authority area and creates a financially strong institution which will allow us to expand the educational opportunities to everyone in Central Bedfordshire and Luton.”

What else is going on?

The latest from The Bedford College Group

View more