From education to employment

Investment and awards turning Middlesbrough into Further Education heavyweight

Multimillion pound investment and prestigious awards are transforming Middlesbrough into a hub of Further Education success.

Middlesbrough College’s £68m iconic Middlehaven campus, which opened in September 2008, is attracting students from across the UK. In its first year, the college saw 3,090 full-time students aged 16-18 attend its courses, an increase of 268 on the previous year.

“The investment in Further Education in Middlesbrough has seen it go from strength-to-strength,” said Kevin Parkes, director of regeneration for Middlesbrough Council.

“The college is already looking to further expand its campus due to its success of attracting students.”

The campus also holds the crown of BURA (British Urban Regeneration Association) Regeneration Project of the Year, and Mr Parkes believes it is transforming Middlesbrough into the “Further Education capital of the country”.

According to Martin Peagam, the college’s assistant principal for business development, the project establishes the blueprint for future regenertion schemes.

“By putting a college at the heart of a regeneration scheme it has provided a ready-made community with which other developers can interact.,” said Mr Peagam.

“We have shown that colleges, schools and education facilites are well-placed to become the focal point in regeneration schemes ensuring that there is a strong foundation for the long term sustainability of a regeneration scheme and a ‘honey pot’ to attract investment and investors.”

He continues: “The inspirational environment of the new buiding has raised aspirations among young people as to the career opportunities available to them. In an area where tradional industries are in decline, and educational attainment is low, the growth in student numbers demonstrates that Middlesbrough College is having a postive and sustained impact on the local community”.

However, it is not the only Further Education success story in Middlesbrough, with Cleveland College of Art and Design winning the government’s top accolade of best specialist art and design college for three years in a row.

Middlesbrough’s regeneration comes as the UK still reels from a recession that impacted the north disproportionately harder than the rest of the country, making its success even more impressive.

Susannah Fairbairn

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