Stratford College site set for £8.25million overhaul

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Stratford-upon-Avon College.

A multi-million overhaul of the Stratford College campus was agreed by governors this week, with buildings set to be completely refurbished or rebuilt from the ground up.

£8.25million will be ploughed into the project, with the actual work expected to be completed in a staged process over the next three to four years.

Most, if not all buildings on the site will be rebuilt or refurbished and the college will remain open as usual during the work.

Lindsey Stewart, chief operating officer at Stratford-upon-Avon College, said “Initial developments will focus on services for students and a new front entrance to the campus.

“We are also committed to providing outstanding specialist learning environments across all of our curriculum areas. As part of the investment, we will ensure the facilities and equipment available to students will be second to none throughout Warwickshire.”

John Callaghan, Principal of Stratford-upon-Avon College and Solihull College & University Centre added: “Following the merger a year ago, we stated that we wanted to review Stratford’s curriculum offer and to ensure our excellent staff enjoyed the same terms and conditions across the merged college, and we have achieved both tasks in less than a year.

“The final part of the curriculum-led recovery is to provide excellent general and specialist learning environments and we are excited to get started.

“Stratford deserves a fantastic college and we aim to step up to the mark. We will be consulting with staff, students and key stakeholders about our exciting plans and we hope to start work in the summer subject to planning permission.”

The first anniversary of the merger between Stratford College and Solihull College and University Centre took place two weeks ago.

At that time the new owners pledged to protect jobs and where possible, make moves to bring international students back to Stratford.

It was understood that the loss of the college’s international student contract with the University of Warwick in 2016, triggered financial problems.

At that time the college also suffered from the sudden departures of key staff, course cancellations and allegations about the management of former college principal Nicola Mannock, who was sacked four months prior to the merger with Solihull College and University Centre.

Such problems now seem like a distant memory, with the college announcing last year that it was even planning to introduce university degree courses.