From education to employment

NCG awarded £6m from Office For Students to invest in higher education facilities

Leading college group NCG has been awarded £6million of funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to invest in higher education facilities over the next three years. 

Combined with funding received last year to invest in STEM facilities, it brings the Group’s total bid wins to almost £8million.

The investment will be split across three of the Group’s colleges – Newcastle, Carlisle and Kidderminster – to create Higher Education (HE) Hubs for construction, engineering, energy and digital technologies. 

Building on NCG’s commitment to creating the workforce of the future, these new facilities will enable the colleges to respond to changing skills needs and new technologies in these sectors, to provideenhanced learning opportunities. This all supports the Group’s drive to support students’ employability prospects.

NCG is the country’s largest provider of HE in aFurther Education setting, with degree awarding powers. The new facilities will allow the Group to increase HE learner capacity and enhance the learner experience, supporting its aspiration of becoming a leading provider of technical higher education. Delivery is mostly through Newcastle College University Centre, with degrees developed in collaboration with employers across key sectors to provide students with employability skills, ready to begin their careers.

Jon Ridley, Deputy Principal (HE) at NCG, said:

“We are incredibly excited to make this investment, it’s great news for the people of Newcastle, Carlisle and Kidderminster, giving them access to high quality higher technical education. The new facilities are built with the economic priorities of the regions and communities our colleges serve in mind, preparing individuals with the skills needed to thrive in the modern workplace. 

“As a Group, we are committed to giving individuals access to a high-quality learning experience.We work closely with business making sure our graduates are work ready. At NCG we believe that in order to be work ready, students must practice and experiment using the latest available industry standard technology, kit and equipment, which is exactly what we are investing in.”

Works are now in full swing, with students already working with some new kit, and Newcastle College University Centre’s cyber security and immersive technology labs set to be ready as part of phase one this summer.  

Following that, development will see the completion of HE Hubs for Digital Technologies. A new Digital Learning Suite will be created at Carlisle College, equipped with state-of-the-art technology. At Newcastle, the ground floor of Newcastle College University Centre will be converted to include digital learning facilities, flexible teaching spaces and bespoke digital labs.

Year two of the project will focus on the completion of Higher Education Hubs for construction, engineering and energy. Specifically, at Kidderminster College, two existing classrooms will be remodelled to create high-spec CAD/BIM suites, while at Carlisle College, the existing Learning Resource Centre will be remodelled to create a Higher Education space, classrooms, and a high-spec CAD/BIM suite.

In year three, Newcastle College University Centre will undertake a significant project to rebuild, refurbish and equip a Construction Engineering and Energy Building, and construct three high-spec CAD/BIM suites. This will establish it as a leader in technical Higher Education and provide students with facilities that will enable them to excel.

For more information about NCG, visit here.

Related Articles