Middlesbrough College Group is embarking on its latest phase of investment after securing a multi-million-pound funding boost.

The Group, which is already one of the largest learning centres in the North East, is now set to create new facilities for adult education, health and care students and the development of ‘green’ skills after being awarded almost £7m.

The funding injection comes as the College’s new £12m TTE Technical training and education centre continues to take shape, ahead of its official opening in September 2024.

Of the new funding, £5.9m has come following a successful application by the College to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.

A chunk of this money will be used to finance the acquisition of 100 Russell Street in Middlesbrough town centre to be the new headquarters of the College’s highly successful Adult & Community Learning Centre.

The Centre currently helps more than 800 people a year access learning and skills that enable them to get into employment or which lead directly into a job at the end of the course.

Over 60 per cent of those who attend the Centre’s courses go directly into employment at the end of the course with a further 18 per cent going on to Further Education as they pursue their career goals.

The Centre is currently in premises on Queens Square in Middlesbrough but is outgrowing that space and the move to Russell Street will enable it to help even more adults to get back into learning which can transform their lives.

Karen Woodland, head of community learning and outreach at the Adult & Community Learning Centre, said: “This acquisition will make a massive difference to the number of people who we can help in Middlesbrough and the surrounding area and to the quality and range of skills and training courses we can provide.

“It’s a genuinely transformational move for the Centre and for the people we help, and we can’t wait to get started.”

The new facility on Russell Street currently houses the Outwood Riverside Academy School.

The College will buy the building and then lease it to the school for the remainder of this year and for the next academic year.

The plan is to move the Adult & Community Learning Centre into the building by summer 2026, by which time the new Outwood Riverside Academy School will be ready on the Middlehaven site.

The College is working closely with Outwood Riverside Academy School to ensure a smooth transition to both their new facilities.

In addition to money from the Levelling Up fund, Middlesbrough College has also secured £520,000 of funding as part of the Local Skills Improvement Plan, the skills and training blueprint for Tees Valley.

Along with money from the Levelling Up fund, the LSIP funding will be used to help create a brand new, clinical and community care simulation suite, comprised of various contemporary care provision settings that relate to the delivery of T Level qualifications in Mental Health, Adult Nursing and Maternity.

This will provide a state-of-the-art educational environment for all students enrolled in a health and care course with a holistic programme of learning. It will include the most up to date educational and healthcare equipment, that brings an interactive, immersive, and unique style of teaching and learning to Middlesbrough College, putting the Healthcare department and the college at the forefront of education.

Health and social care is earmarked in the Tees Valley LSIP as one of the key growth sectors for the region’s economy, along with green sector skills.

The latter is being catered for with investment in equipment, IT and staff training at Middlesbrough College to expand its training in Retrofit skills.

Retrofitting buildings – installing upgrades to make them more energy efficient, environmentally friendly and cost effective – is at the forefront of the UK’s mission to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The process can cut energy bills for occupants, helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lowers the carbon footprint of a building, which in turn helps address climate change.

The College will also use money from the Levelling Up Fund for a range of other exciting projects including:

  • Creating a new Electric Vehicle Motor Vehicle Workshop
  • Creating a Professional Skills Hub and Resource Hub for Entrepreneurship
  • Improvements to the College’s Learning and Resource Centre (LRC)
  • Improvements to the College’s welding facilities, including bringing in more specialist equipment to meet industry needs
  • Creation of a dedicated Special Educational Needs (SEN) centre with a bespoke sensory room and regulation space along with a student living flat to give learners the opportunity to develop independent living skills.
  • Acquiring a fully kitted out vehicle which will house up to date Health & Care medical equipment that can be taken out to schools and events to promote careers in the Health & Care sector.

Zoe Lewis, principal and Chief Executive Officer at Middlesbrough College Group, said: “This is such an exciting time for the College and for everyone involved in expanding and improving learning opportunities for people right across the Tees Valley.

“Securing this additional funding will mean we can do even more to help students achieve their career goals, regardless of the issues and challenges they may face, and increase the number of skilled, qualified and motivated workers in the region.

“Our mission has always been to help our students aim higher and succeed in whatever they set their sights on doing and this latest funding will go a long way towards achieving that.”