Work is underway at Bedford College’s Cauldwell Street campus to create a Health, Science and Digital Skills Centre.
The project is one of six major Bedford projects which are part of the national Town Deal.
The works, scheduled to be completed by summer 2023, are part of a £12.6m project to deliver a Health, Science and Digital Skills Centre at Bedford College. The Bedford Town Deal programme included £3m of funding to make these plans possible.
A key transformation
Bedford College’s 1959 Tower Block is a key town centre building on the south bank of the river and will be transformed into a state-of-the-art science and technology facility with high levels of energy efficiency.
The Bedford Town Deal investment will enable the remodelling of the building and subsequent upgrading of its spaces, including laboratories and IT suites, opening the College out with a learning corridor through St Mary’s Gardens and the Riverside Bedford connections to the middle of the Town Centre.
The project will generate an additional 250 full-time education students each year, while also benefiting the existing 4,000 students at the Bedford campus who will have a new and superior learning environment fit for 21st century studies.
As an exciting skills and education development, the investment will support Bedford College’s curriculum in its extension to higher education and advanced levels, so that existing students can progress further and achieve higher levels of skill in areas where employers say there is a need.
Dave Hodgson, Elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, / Henry Vann, Portfolio Holder for Town Centres and Planning at Bedford Borough Council, said:
“This investment into education and skills at the heart of Bedford’s Town Deal through the Bedford College project is part of our commitment to providing learners and students in the Borough with the best educational opportunities that we can. Digital Skills are a vital and growing skillset which a significant portion of the Borough workforce do and will require, and this project will help local people to develop the necessary expertise to progress and unlock new opportunities in high skill jobs.
“This is all part of an over-arching Town Deal, which is well underway, with Midland Road and pedestrian and cycling improvements next on the list as well as further investment from the railway to the riverside.”
Pat Jones, Deputy Chief Executive at Bedford College, said:
“The Tower Block has been part of the Town’s landscape for over 60 years. The regeneration of this building will enable the College to continue to support the community to flourish through the provision of education and skills. We are delighted to have been awarded some funding from The Bedford Town Deal to help take this regeneration project forward.”