As the Chancellor Rishi Sunak gets ready to announce £1.6 billion this week to roll out new T-levels for 16 to 19-year-olds, Cirencester College has successfully bid for T-level Capital funding to build a specialist centre for T-levels. The funding will support the £5m+ investment in skills important for Gloucestershire, Swindon, North Wiltshire and West Oxfordshire to meet the needs of local business through T-levels and provide access for local people to well-paid careers in construction, green engineering, finance, health science, accountancy and early years education.
The impressive building has been designed by local architects Roberts Limbrick and will be built by Gloucester based building firm E G Carter. This is the same team which designed and built the new Digital Building now nearing completion. Both designs are deliberately modelled on modern workplaces and seek to bring the surrounding green campus ‘into’ the buildings.
Principal Jim Grant said: “These two buildings will transform the College frontage and provide facilities for our students. The Digital Building will open in Spring 2022 and the T-level Building in the Autumn of 2022. Both will enhance our learning environment and add significant new resources and opportunities for our young people.”
Cirencester College was one of just 45 schools and colleges nationwide to pioneer the new T-levels which are the gold standard of technical education. T-levels are designed by employers to be industry relevant. This is backed up by true immersion in industry (a core part of the course includes a minimum of 45 days in the working environment). By 2024, it is estimated that a third of the College’s learners will be studying one of these world leading technical qualifications.
Thomas Jones, Associate Director at EG Carter, said “E G Carter & Co Ltd are really excited to have been appointed to construct the new T-levels building for Cirencester College. We are currently on site delivering the new Digital Centre at the College which is due to completion early 2022 and we are preparing to commence works this Autumn on the T-levels building. It is great to be part of a scheme to provide excellent facilities for the students and we are also pleased to be supporting the Construction T-levels students with experience on our site with our experienced management team throughout the works.”
Ben Harries, the Architect for the project, said “At Roberts Limbrick we love to facilitate innovation in teaching and learning, so we are delighted to be working with the leadership team at Cirencester College to design a bespoke facility for the delivery of T-level courses. Jim and his team have briefed us to create a set of spaces that are capable of accommodating a wide variety of activities, to support their teachers in developing new and innovative ways of delivering the curriculum.
Through extensive consultation, designs for a varied and exciting set of flexible teaching spaces have emerged. These are spread across three storeys and gathered around an exciting multi-functional atrium which combines social, study and presentation space. Full-height curtain glazing will flood the atrium with natural light and provide expansive views across the new landscaped quad (to be provided in the next phase). In support of the College’s commitment to sustainability, the building is being designed to achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating.
Along with the newly-constructed Digital Building, this project signifies the start of an exciting new chapter for the Cirencester College campus.”
Dave Marks, Project Manager at Gloucester based project management company Ward Williams, said :“Ward Williams Associates are proud to be the College’s Project Manager and Quantity Surveyor for this exciting new project. We look forward to working alongside the College and design team to provide this high quality new 3 storey building to accommodate the needs of students undertaking ‘T-level’ courses. The building is designed to provide a blend of workshops, group and practical learning spaces as well as traditional classroom.”