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Regional growth by College Group

Shuttleworth College students using laptops and smiling.

The Bedford College Group has been awarded £7.5million from SEMLEP, through funding available from the Local Growth Fund skills capital investment programme, towards redeveloping a site in Wellingborough which will lead to 1,000 extra students.

This new funding for the Wellingborough campus will enable the college to deliver a multi-million project, which will see substantial works to the Tresham College tower block, refurbishment of other on-site buildings as well as improvements to the college access.

The new-look campus in Church Street will open to students in September 2020. From this September courses will be run at the local council’s Croyland Hall in Wellingborough.

Ian Pryce CBE The Bedford College Group

The Bedford College Group CEO Ian Pryce CBE said:

“When we were selected as the merger partner for Tresham College in 2017 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.

“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.  We will also be running courses from our temporary home at Croyland Hall from September so the community doesn’t have to wait to get the skills they want”

Judith Barker, director of programmes and governance at SEMLEP said:

“This project forecasts over 1000 additional learners by 2021 which is great news for local people and local employers. 

“This funding announcement confirms SEMLEP’s commitment to improving the skills offer for local communities in our area. It follows a very competitive funding competition and detailed due-diligence and appraisal process. I will be working very closely with the college to help them deliver this.”

Cllr Martin Griffiths, Leader of Borough Council of Wellingborough and 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 is a public-private partnership set up in 2011 to drive economic growth across the South East Midlands.

Steered by a business-led Board, we work to build a stronger economy by tackling barriers to sustainable growth and supporting job creation for the future prosperity of communities across the South East Midlands.

We bring together the private sector, education providers and the public sector, to steer investment and deliver projects to grow businesses, grow people and grow places.

SEMLEP is responsible for Local Growth Fund and other public monies to support growth projects including business support provided through SEMLEP’s Growth Hubs.

Local Growth Fund

Local Enterprise Partnerships are playing a vital role in driving forward economic growth across the country, helping to build a country that works for everyone. That’s why by 2021 Government will have invested over £12bn through the Local Growth Fund, allowing the LEPs to use their local knowledge to get all areas of the country firing on all cylinders.

Some additional key facts: There are 38 LEPs covering the whole of England. The government has awarded £9.1bn in three rounds of Growth Deals to local areas to drive economic growth. LEPs are investing in a wider range of projects including transport, skills, business support, broadband, innovation and flood defences.

Ian Pryce CBE with another of the group’s building successes, the award-winning Brundtland Building at the riverside campus in Bedford.

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