New chapter at colleges

Buxton and Leek College merger. College principal Len Tildsley and his deputy Mary Blauciak with students at the Leek campus. Photo contributed.

Buxton and Leek College merger. College principal Len Tildsley and his deputy Mary Blauciak with students at the Leek campus. Photo contributed.

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Colleges of Further Education in Buxton and Leek started a new chapter in their lives this term when they formally marked their merger as part of the University of Derby.

New signs bearing the brand name of Buxton and Leek College have gone up at the entrances to the two campuses, in Devonshire Road, Buxton and Stockwell Street, Leek. And a brand new website www.blc.ac.uk is due to be launched at the end of June.

New college principal, Len Tildsley, who took up his post in January, said: “The launch of our new brand and logo is the next step in raising the profile of Buxton and Leek College as a single provider of high quality education and training to the communities of the Staffordshire Moorlands and the Peak District.

“The Leek campus will see an investment of £7 million in new buildings and facilities over the next 18 months to completely re-model and expand the site.”

“We will be opening our new Skillsbase Training Centre for motor vehicle, construction and logistics in Harpur Hill this September and, having been confirmed in recently published national data to be in the top seven per cent of Further Education colleges nationally for the success of our young people, we are a very attractive option for school leavers seeking a vocational route to employment or higher education.”

With the two previous colleges and Derby University now combining resources, expertise and reputations, an increased range of opportunities will be on offer to students.

Post-16 students in Leek will be able to access courses in Catering and Hospitality and Motor Vehicle studies for the first time while Buxton teenagers will be able to take advantage of Leek College’s excellence in art and engineering which are being boosted by the multi-million pound investment in new facilities.

A shuttle bus service will ferry students between the two college campuses and taster days are being planned for prospective students. The Leek College campus will throw open its doors on Saturday June 15 from 10 am until 1pm while the Buxton campus will hold its taster sessions a week later on Saturday June 22 from 11am until 3pm.