Nearly £6m awarded to Bradford College for state-of-the-art STEM facilities

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Nearly £6m awarded to Bradford College for state-of-the-art STEM facilities

A multimillion-pound investment from the Higher Education Capital Fund will create state-of-the-art facilities for Bradford College students.

The College has been awarded £5.8 million for the Garden Mills project which will see the building on the college campus grounds transformed into flexible higher education STEM training and educational facilities for digital, science, and allied health subjects. 

The Office for Students announced that Bradford College is one of a hundred colleges and universities that have been awarded a share of £432 million to invest over the next three years in new facilities and equipment and help level up more opportunities for people to gain the skills they need to progress.

The maximum amount on offer per provider was £5.8 million – an allocation that only five colleges managed to secure, including Bradford College.

A further £57 million has been awarded to 20 higher education providers for 2022/23, who specialise in areas including science, agriculture, business as well as creative and performing arts.

Chris Webb, CEO & Principal of Bradford College, said:

The Bradford College Garden Mills project is an exciting development that will create cutting-edge facilities for higher-level STEM teaching in one impressive five-storey building. Digital, science, and allied health professions will gain a flexible training environment to accommodate expected growth in the industry.

“Aligned with our 
vision ‘to create a better future for all through education and training,’ the sustainable regeneration project will work with specialist employers such as Specsavers to enhance the student experience, create aspirational graduate opportunities, and counter regional skills shortages. 

“Our strategic objectives include delivering curriculum that meets the needs of students, employers, and our community, and providing an outstanding student experience. This ground-breaking opportunity to upskill Bradford in vital sector areas will support regional economic growth and goes hand-in-hand with our value of inspiring students.”

Garden Mills will enhance the College’s existing STEM science and digital facilities located in the David Hockney Building and Advanced Technology Centre (ATC). The plans incorporate two new flexible science laboratories, a prep-room, six higher education digital IT labs, an ophthalmic dispensing suite, clinical suite, a real-life work environment with consulting/testing booths, and a collaboration space alongside academic teaching spaces.

The Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said:

“Investing in education and skills will unlock future growth, boost productivity and help build the skilled workforce of the future. That’s why we’re spending £490 million to support high-quality teaching and world class facilities in universities and colleges right across the country. Whether it’s in aerospace engineering or green tech, this funding will provide young people with the support they need to build a great career.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said:

“This investment is about making sure students get the highest quality training in key subjects which are driving economic growth. That means access to top of the range facilities which prepare people for the workplace, filling skills gaps and levelling up the whole country. From Yeovil to Durham, we are backing the industries of the future and giving people the skills they need to succeed.”

Students benefitting from the funding will have access to high-quality training environments in vital subjects that will help get more people into jobs with higher wages, plug local skills gaps and support economic growth.

Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the OfS, said:

“Investing in modern buildings and innovative equipment will help universities and colleges in England prepare students for their future careers. Modern labs and state of the art technology help students learn with the best facilities. The investment will also increase the provision of short courses that provide flexibility to boost the skills of the workforce.

“Competition for funding was strong, with high-quality applications from across the sector. The OfS-funded projects will ensure current and future students have a positive experience while studying expensive-to-deliver subjects that are strategically important to society. Taxpayers will feel these benefits too, as the investment will boost local and regional economies and support environmental sustainability.”

The multimillion-pound investment allocated today builds on the £150 million provided to higher education providers by the OfS in 2021/22.

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