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COLLEGE COMMITS TO £10.3M INVESTMENT IN FACILITIES

Stratford-upon-Avon College is excited to announce increased capital investment in its facilities amounting to a total of £10.3m following approval by college Governors.

This represents an increase of just over £2m from the original investment of £8.25m made over 2 years ago. Governors were encouraged by the extremely healthy enrolment figures in September 2020 which saw a growth of 150 full time students. With application numbers for September 2021 at record levels, Governors felt this justified the extra 25% investment. The College expects to see over 1,000 full time students on campus next year.

Principals standing in front of Stratford-upon-Avon College Reception sign
Principal & Chief Executive, John Callaghan (left) and Chief Operating Officer, Lindsey Stewart (right) at Stratford-upon-Avon College

The plans involve a comprehensive staged refurbishment over the next three years, in which unsuitable buildings will be demolished and the campus rationalised. The retained buildings will be upgraded and comprehensively overhauled, with new specialist equipment being purchased at the same time. The news comes less than a month after the three-year anniversary of the merger between Stratford-upon-Avon College and Solihull College & University Centre.

The College can increase the investment thanks in part to a £760k grant from Coventry & Warwickshire LEP to contribute to a brand-new Construction Centre and to enhance creative and digital facilities. The College is also delighted to have received planning permission this week for the Construction Centre to support the skills needs of the Stratford area.

Investment in the creative side of the curriculum will also be taking place, with a new TV and radio studio part of the plans to upskill and train creative professionals in the skills they need. The Department for Education is inviting the College to bid for capital to improve teaching facilities and the College will be submitting its bid following a comprehensive condition survey undertaken by an independent external local company.

The College is committed to supporting Stratford-upon-Avon at this challenging time and is keen to continue to work in partnership with local employers to assist in their skills challenges. The College is particularly looking to develop a more flexible apprenticeship delivery model for the hospitality and catering industries to respond to the needs of local restaurants and bars as they reopen, with a mix of on-the-job training and work experience.

Lindsey Stewart, Chief Operating Officer said: “We inherited a poor estate and outdated equipment, however we have recently completed £4m of capital works for phases 1 and 2. We plan a further 3 phases and I’m delighted that as well as out first-class creative provision in many arts related disciplines, such as Music and Theatre production, Performing Arts and Media, we are also seeing significant growth in our Health & Social Care, Construction, Motor Vehicle, Business and Computing provision. These are exciting times for the College and for the Stratford community.”

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Artist's impression of SUAC
Artist's impression of the campus landscaping plan following the demolition of C Block