A sixth form college will soon be able to welcome more school leavers after announcing plans to expand its facilities in a £2.4 million development.

The development at Bede Sixth Form College in Billingham will incorporate a new three-storey facility on Marsh House Avenue, increasing capacity for a further 200 students, including nine new classrooms and breakout spaces.

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Funding for the development will come from the Department for Education’s post-16 Capacity Fund, in response to an expected demographic increase in 16 to 19-year-olds.

The new 700 square metre facility will be designed to compliment the existing building whilst providing a self-contained learning space for 16 to 19-year-old students with a particular interest in the science and pharmaceutical sectors.

Creative subjects such as media and art and design will also be a part of the facility, which will see a dedicated entrance for these learners.

The Northern Echo: Phil Cook group principal and chief executivePhil Cook group principal and chief executive (Image: Education Training Collective)

The sixth form is part the Education Training Collective, alongside NETA Training Group, Redcar and Cleveland College, Stockton Riverside College, and the Skills Academy,

The development will mean it will also respond to the recent rise in applications from students wanting to study at the college.

Phil Cook, group principle and chief executive of Education Training Collective, said it was a “welcome investment in our facilities.”

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He added: “Not only will it enable us to accommodate more students, but it will also give us the space to create new and innovative learning environments, specifically designed to meet key-sector skill demands.”

He added: “This is not just good news for the college and our students but also for Billingham and the wider community as it will give us a bespoke state-of-the-art facility, transforming the post-16 teaching and learning experience for our young people.”

Work on the development is due to start in the summer, to which Mr Cook added that the construction area will be “self-contained and should therefore cause minimal disruption.”

Councillor Lisa Evans, Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People said it was “brilliant news for young people in the Borough.”

She added: “We want them all to be educated in modern buildings designed to support their studies and the sixth form’s increased capacity will bring more opportunities for them to learn new skills in a purpose-built, inspirational space.

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“It’s so important that we help young people reach their potential from early years through to further education. Their learning environment is a major part of that, so this expansion will be a real asset for local students and the wider community."


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