The Bedford College Group has undergone major structural change
in the past few years, following the merger of Bedford and Tresham colleges. Behind the scenes, there has been a small team of people working away, often unnoticed but making a huge difference to college life for staff and students.
The building projects team consists of just five people. But between them, they have upgraded several buildings, opened two learning centres and created three new buildings on three different campuses. As a direct result of their work, the reach of the college’s provision has expanded massively and thousands more local people are accessing high-quality resources.
In 2018, the college opened the £5.2 million Buchanan Centre for Advanced Engineering. In 2019, it built the £3.65 million Zoological Education Centre in Shuttleworth. Work is under way on the £10 million redevelopment of the Wellingborough campus, which is due to open this year, serving one of the most disadvantaged areas of England.
Awards winners: Joan Scott wins
The building projects team has worked closely with other departments across the colleges, including marketing, finance, IT and, of course, teaching and learning. It collaborates with the college’s market research manager to ensure that all buildings and projects meet learners’ needs. They also manage all the external suppliers involved in designing, building and fitting out the facilities, while meeting deadlines and, crucially, keeping on budget – no mean feat.
The judges said that the complexity of dealing with a land-based estate should never be underestimated. They said: “The team delivers incredibly innovative work and has played a huge role in ensuring the major merger has gone smoothly.”