College cements ambitious plans for ‘transformational’ campus buildings

The Future Technologies Centre

Work is getting underway on a trio of large capital investment projects at Bradford College.

Over the last two years, the college has secured nearly £29m in funding, which will go towards major construction schemes. Plans include:

·       New £3.5m vocational T Level facilities in the existing David Hockney Building.
·       A £6.9m refurbishment of the derelict Garden Mills building on Thornton Road.
·       Construction of a new £17m Future Technologies Centre (FTC), also on Thornton Road.

T Level Facilities

A £3.5m Department for Education (T Level Capital Fund  – Wave 5) investment will create a commercial barbering salon, nail bar, collaborative lecture spaces, TV studio, enhanced media editing and recording studios, outdoor dining facilities, and remodel of The Grove training restaurant.

T Level qualifications are an alternative to A Levels and focus on the hands-on skills that employers need.

Opening in September, these latest T Level facilities follow on from £1.3m Wave 4 funding which built T Level health and early years facilities in 2023.

The first phase of work incorporated five new digital teaching suites, a large collaboration science lab, a mock clinical ward, and the conversion of classrooms into indoor and outdoor nursery training rooms.

Garden Mills

The Garden Mills refurbishment is the result of £5.8m worth of funding received from The Office for Students (OfS) Higher Education Capital Fund (with a £1.1m college contribution).

Contractor Tilbury Douglas has finished the strip out of the five-storey building for fit-out and completion by this summer.

Garden Mills will enhance the college’s existing health science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) facilities. Higher-level HNC/HND and degree students will use this building from the new academic year.

It will house two new flexible laboratories, a prep room, six higher education digital IT labs, an ophthalmic dispensing suite, a clinical suite, a real-life work environment with consulting and testing booths, a collaboration area, and academic teaching spaces.

Future Technologies Centre (FTC)

Construction of the purpose-built FTC building will begin in spring following the demolition of Junction Mills and surveys by contractor, Morgan Sindall.

The project was made possible thanks to £15m funding from the Department for Education’s Further Education Capital Transformation Fund (FECTF), secured in October 2022, boosted by a £2m college contribution.

The FTC will be the new home of modern automotive and digital engineering curricula, such as electric/hybrid vehicles, robotics, advanced manufacturing, and digital/3D design.

The college’s Automotive and Digital Engineering Department will relocate from Bowling Back Lane to the new premises once completed during the 2025/2026 academic year.

Christopher Malish, Bradford College vice principal finance & corporate services, said: “We’re thrilled to see work scaling up across our project sites after years of logistics and planning.

“We have an exciting year ahead as we develop sector leading facilities. This is a huge boost for the college but is also a transformative investment in Bradford city centre, that also supports the wider city centre development.

“These multi-million pound investments will create cutting-edge learning environments for the local community, allowing the college to deliver on its mission of transforming lives.”

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