Study Completion Date: 2013
Project Value: - the Strategy identified a number of key projects including; Engineering Centre, (new build) £8m
In challenging times for the Further Education sector, unlocking opportunities for investment in the estate requires an integrated approach between the College’s needs, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) priorities and estate strategy.
Like many in the sector, the College’s estate included a diverse mix of accommodation, from the original buildings from the 1950s and ‘60s, large industrial units and more modern piecemeal development.
Key to our approach in developing the Strategy for the College was bringing together a number of distinct elements:
- Developing a robust space case based on both Guided Learning hours and register data. This identified an opportunity to reduce the estate by over 35% with corresponding running cost savings.
- Understanding the opportunities and constraints of the existing campus, in terms of potential reuse, redevelopment or disposal.
- Understanding how the College might work to support the key LEP priorities and local economic needs in order to unlock potential capital funding.
Following exploration and analysis of a range of options, the final solution offered the College a phased development strategy and campus masterplan. Whilst providing a clear direction and recommendation for the immediate actions, this strategy nevertheless retained the flexibility for the longer term; offering the College choices about the exact scope and extent of future phases that can be shaped to suit changing education, economic or funding priorities.
This robust long-term strategy was a key element in supporting a successful application for capital support under the SFA CCIF programme. Completed in 2015, this first phase of the strategy has seen the transformational refurbishment of a dated building into a striking new Engineering Centre that meets all the key priorities: improving space efficiency through the removal of around 6,500m2, improving the quality of the learner experience though the removal/refurbishment of category C and D accommodation and targeting the biggest growth area of skills demand.