New centre creates university feel for HE students

December 19, 2018

A new Higher Education Centre has been officially opened by Shrewsbury Colleges Group – after already winning the thumbs up from delighted students.
The centre – which includes five classrooms, study rooms and a social space and kitchen – helps create a university feel for students at the London Road campus.
It also features a modern computer space equipped with iMacs, desktop computers, laptops and IT equipment, and has been used by students for the last three months.
The project received a £209,079 investment from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Midlands Engine to bring the latest technological advances to the teaching of construction, built environment and digital media by providing state-of-the-art industry-related infrastructure and technology.
The former art school at London Road Campus has been redesigned and renovated to house the new centre and the Darwin Building (Public Services, Sport and Outdoor Activities department).
The funding is focused on supporting growth in full-time, part-time and apprenticeship delivery across these areas, along with small numbers of supported internships, NVQs, and school links provision. Targets include 100 new full-time students, 165 more Apprentices, and 260 more Higher Education across the four-year reporting period.
Higher Education students have been taking full advantage of their new space. Sam Shoulder, HNC Fashion and Textiles student, said: “The new HE centre has really good facilities and plenty of computers to help with our coursework. This building makes it feel more like a university.” Foundation Degree Counselling student, Diane Ferguson also said: “It is such a lovely space – especially the kitchen. The centre gives us a calmer environment to learn and work.”
The official opening reception took place on Friday December 14, with staff and students given mince pies whilst listening to Christmas songs. James Staniforth, CEO and Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, talked about the journey of the Higher Education Centre, saying: “We are all really pleased with the centre and how successful this process has been.” He also pointed out that the aim of this improved HE space was to bring “high quality, local, affordable education.”
Helen Fellows, Higher Education Lead, said: “It has been my ambition since joining the College in 2013 to have a dedicated teaching and social space on campus for our higher education students. This project has realised this ambition and will enhance our students’ experience going forward. Students and staff were involved in the design of the HE Centre and helped to shape the space. I am really pleased with the building and I am enjoying seeing the students use and enjoy their new learning environment.”
To find out more about Higher Education courses at SCG, come to an Advice Event, call 01743 342333 or visit
Funding for the project was awarded to the Marches LEP via its Growth Deal with Government.

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The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership has now ceased trading and transferred all its functions to Shropshire Council working with Telford & Wrekin Council and Herefordshire Council, in line with the UK Government's plans for devolution.

The Marches LEP was established in 2011 and hands over an impressive legacy from its 13-year life. In that time the LEP invested over £196m in projects across the Marches, securing in excess of £100m of match funding and supported more than 66,000 business interactions.

The schemes supported have made tangible differences to local communities, increasing skills, creating jobs and improving the physical appearance of many towns.

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