Preston College’s construction department undergoes major refurbishment

Frank Whittle Partnership is leading the project, which will enable the college to offer T-Level courses – a vocational skill-based alternative to A-Levels.

The project will see Longridge-based construction company Carefoot handle the assembly of a new exterior for the 17,200 sq ft department building and the creation of a 5,400 sq ft mezzanine level. Carefoot will be working with apprentices selected from Preston College on the development.

TRP Consulting is the structural engineer for the scheme. Beech Jackson Partnership is the M&E consultant.

As part of the remodelling, the Fulwood campus building will also get the latest technology and equipment for the new T-Level courses. The equivalent of three A-Levels, T-Level classes will begin at the college in September.

“Our brief has been to create a learning environment that will give learners the best facilities, technology and equipment for the delivery of the new curriculum,” said FWP partner Neil Ainsworth.

“Preston College has built up a great reputation for high-quality technical learning in the construction sector, creating a pipeline of talented, professionally qualified people that businesses across the region can tap into,” he continued.

“The new facilities we are delivering will help the college continue on that mission, by giving staff and students the very best environment for success as they embark on the new T-Levels.”

Preston College plans to add more T-Level courses over the next few years, including a course in building services engineering and one in on-site construction.

“This is a significant advancement for our construction department and one we are all very excited to be a part of,” said Mark Taylor, Preston College’s head of school for construction and the built environment.

“The introduction of T-Levels this year brings with it many opportunities for the young people of our region, and with this landmark development, we are able to offer our learners the very best in industry-standard facilities and equipment,” he continued.

“Preston College will continue to re-invest and innovate in curriculum delivery, and over the next two academic years, we will introduce T-Levels in Building Services Engineering and On-Site Construction.”

Funding for the refurbishment comes from the Department for Education, which has set aside £48.5m to help nearly 50 colleges nationwide add new courses.