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Investing in a sustainable future

Cauldwell Tower block at night with lights and river.

On Thursday, 30 November 2023, the Bedford College Cauldwell Street Campus officially celebrated reopening the newly renovated Tower Block, illuminating the town skyline.

With a project cost of £12.6 million, transforming a 1959 building into a modern hub for Health Sciences and Digital Skills marked a significant milestone. The renovation facilitated the integration of 250 new students, contributing to the existing 4,000 students connected to the campus and generating essential foot traffic for the town centre.

Notably, £3 million of the funding for this project came from the Bedford Town Deal. This government initiative allocated £22.6 million to revitalise the town centre. The Bedford College Group’s commitment to achieving a net-zero status was evident in renovating the 5,000-square-meter tower. Utilising retro-fitting and innovative technologies, the group reduced carbon emissions by 633 tonnes since 2018-19, equivalent to saving emissions from over 2,500 buses.

Tower Block opening, with Yiannis Koursis, Andrea Spice, Karen Campbell and Ian Pryce.

Samantha Laycock, Chair of the Bedford Town Deal Board and Manager for the Harpur Centre, said:

“This is our first project within the Town Deal reaching completion. It will help local people develop and refine their skills for future employment in areas where employers say there is a need. It increases the curriculum and student capacity whilst also benefitting the existing learners and environment.

“The new entrance leading to the riverside bridge is already working well to connect Bedford College to the town centre and its businesses”.

Royal visit for Corby

On Tuesday, 9 November 2023, HRH The Duke of Gloucester officially inaugurated the new Corby Sixth Form, accompanied by local leaders, including Cllr Jason Smithers and Tom Pursglove MP. The visit included a tour of the state-of-the-art facilities, student interactions, and stakeholder engagement to gain insights into the project. During the ceremony, Yiannis Koursis OBE, the Chief Executive Officer of The Bedford College Group, expressed excitement for the future of The Corby Sixth Form and extended gratitude to all those involved in bringing it to fruition.

The Corby Sixth Form Biology class.

Situated in Corby, the eco-friendly campus has already welcomed its inaugural students studying various A Level subjects and Diplomas.

The facility is poised to expand, aiming to welcome up to 660 students annually, offering a range of subjects such as maths, English, sciences, humanities, languages, and diplomas in business, health, and social care. This collaborative project between The Bedford College Group and North Northamptonshire Council became a reality through funding from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities received by NNC. The Corby Towns Fund was pivotal in facilitating the project, with the Corby area receiving £19.9 million from the Central Government for four projects, including the new Sixth Form.

Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of North Northamptonshire Council, said:

“The new Sixth Form has been open to students for a couple of months now and the surrounding area is already seeing a positive impact, with students and staff contributing to the local economy.
“It is great to see the classrooms and impressive facilities in use and students learning about a variety of topics. This is start of the College’s journey and I look forward to seeing it grow, welcoming more students over the coming years.”

Kingshill Farm plans.

Kingshill Farm Redevelopment

A sum of £2 million has been invested in the farming facilities at Kingshill Farm to support curriculum changes that aimed to deliver T Levels in Agriculture, Environmental and Animal Care. The redevelopment was funded by Government T level grants and contributions from The Bedford College Group. As a result of the investment, the farm now features a new workshop, classrooms, and staff offices. It is scheduled to open officially in the spring.