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The Government’s Autumn Statement last week delivered plenty of pre-Christmas cheer for the building schools industry. David Cameron has asked all but four Whitehall departments to save an extra 1% next year and a further 2% the following year, so more money – an estimated £5billion – can be spent on capital projects including building new schools.
It was announced that £1billion of the savings will go towards building 100 new free schools and academies to help create an additional 50,000 new school places, but colleges will also benefit from the government cutbacks.
College building programme launched
Last month, Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the college building programme which gave colleges across the country the go-ahead to spend £412million on new build and refurbishment projects. The funding will help transform more than fifty colleges providing them with state-of-the-art facilities and modern resources including fit-for-purpose fitted college furniture.
Primary and secondary schools have seen their fair share of funding this past year, so this is excellent news for UK colleges.
Transforming college learning environments
College funding has already been allocated to a number of college building projects including a new £7.7million creative industries building at Kingston College and an £8.1million campus refurbishment and new arts facility at Burton and South Derbyshire College. To ensure that the projects run to plan and budget, colleges will need to source reliable suppliers who have demonstrable experience of transforming college learning environments.
We have been manufacturing fitted furniture for over 30 years and our Education furniture range has been specified for college new build and refurbishment projects throughout the UK. This autumn we completed a college science block refurbishment at St Ignatius College in Slough, which transformed the old science lab into a well-equipped and modern learning environment. We installed our durable Iroko worktops throughout the science block as they are heat and chemical resistant so help prevent discolouration from the use of acids and solvents. As the college science block was in need of a face lift we chose a fresh cool blue colour scheme for the storage units and cupboards to compliment the college’s blue stools.