Happy ending for Pendleton Sixth Form College over a year on from a fire that devastated their graphic design facilities.

Staff, students and some of Pendleton’s finest graphic design alumni gathered at the college to celebrate not only 10-years of success within the department, but also the transformation that has taken place over the last 18-months, following the blaze.

It was in May 2016 when Pendleton fell victim to the inferno which engulfed the main graphic design classroom. Around 40 fire-fighters and eight fire crews were called out to battle the blaze, but the studio, as well as irreplaceable work and resources, could not be saved.

(Before and after renovation of the fire struck classroom)

before and after

David Holcroft, Graphic Design Teacher at Pendleton said: “It was a shame, obviously we are happy now with all the incredible changes that have been made, but it was awful losing resources and students work that simply could not be replaced.

“Nonetheless, the department has proven to be somewhat of a phoenix from the flames since the tragedy, and that has a lot to do with the incredible support we have received from past students. Many got in touch to offer their backing and it was lovely to see that so many of our former students look back at their time at Pendleton with such fondness.”

At the event last month, the department officially opened their brand new, state-of-the-art studio and facilities, which have been built in the ashes of the fire.

The newly transformed workspace is home to brand new iMacs, printers, HD projectors and bespoke furniture that would be the envy of any, industry standard, design studio.

However, the occasion served as much more than just a launch event. Exhibited in the studio was work from many of the college’s incredibly successful and talented alumni. Former students were invited to talk about their successes and where their qualifications had taken them since leaving Pendleton. This served to both provide inspiration and learning opportunities for budding designers currently at the college, or thinking of studying the subject in the future.


Just one of the many former students in attendance was Emily Wolstenholme, whose work was chosen to create the event’s promotional flyer. The recent graduate was described by her former teacher as ‘one of the best students he has ever taught’ on the night, as her work was admired by those just starting out.

Another was Jennifer Craven, former Fred Longworth High School pupil, who kicked of her career working at Trinity Mirror Creative - The Manchester Evening News’ very own design agency. She is now a full-time, freelance graphic designer.

Melissa Hoey, who is now a UX Designer for leading fashion brand, Missguided, was also in attendance, networking with those aspiring to get into the industry.

Other extremely successful attendees included Phil Earnshaw and Mike Emerson.

Phil, a digital designer for Modern English, has worked with clients including Queens of the Stone Age and The Charlatans. The former Moorside High School pupil also worked on the design for the Foo Fighters website, just last year.

Mike has worked with clients including Johnnie Walker, Haagen Dazs, Guinness, Omega and Vimto - covering everything from design to packaging, advertising to 3D experiential, all as Art Director and Designer at LOVE Creative.

Mike Emerson

(Mike Emerson)

Whilst studying at Pendleton around 9-years-ago, Laura Gallagher, former St Ambrose Barlow RC High School pupil, won a college-wide design competition, with her entry being chosen as the official college logo, which is still in use to this day.

Since graduating, Laura has worked at Rapport: The People Activation Agency, working with a range of clients such as Nestlè Purina, TalkTalk, Thomas Cook, Fujitsu and more.

Reece Crowder, Digital Content Producer for CFM Radio in Cardiff, was at the exhibition presenting his work. He shared with guests his words of wisdom: “The best things to do is have the willingness to crack on and do something. If you give it 100% you’re going to get something out of it, and graphic design is one of those skills you can learn, anyone can do it.”

Since leaving Pendleton, Reece has studied at the University of Cumbria and now works at CFM producing content for the station’s social media channels. This is alongside freelance design projects including a website for ‘Little the Jewellers’. 


(Reece Crowder)



You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Solvendis added a new event 20 hours

Designated Safeguarding Lead Training (Zoom Conferencing)

A provider’s Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) plays a critical role in its approach to safeguarding its learners, training its staff, providing...

  • Wednesday, 15 September 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event 20 hours

Level 3 Award in Education & Training (Zoom Conferencing)

  • Thursday, 23 September 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing
Solvendis added a new event 20 hours

Ofsted Inspection Nominee Training (Zoom Conferencing)

Within inspection, Ofsted invites providers to nominate a senior member of staff to act as the main link with the inspection team. Ofsted suggests...

  • Friday, 23 July 2021 10:00 AM
  • Zoom Conferencing

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page