£52m college facelift starts

Work is underway on a massive facelift at Blackpool and The Fylde College's Bispham Campus
Work is underway on a massive facelift at Blackpool and The Fylde College's Bispham Campus
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WORK has started on a major £3.5m facelift at the Bispham campus of Blackpool and The Fylde College.

The appearance of the distinctive, seven-storey Cleveleys Building at the Ashfield Road site is scheduled for a round of improvements.

The project is part of the first phase of the College’s £52.5million 10-year accommodation strategy which will also see improvements to Fleetwood Nautical campus, the Palatine Road University Centre and the Ansdell campus.

Blackpool and The Fylde College had ambitious hopes for a brand new £188m college building on Blackpool’s Hornby Road and a new nautical campus in Fleetwood.

But their dreams were shattered last March when funding body the Learning and Skills Council announced Government cash had run out.

College bosses are moving onwards and upwards by beginning work to improve their existing building.

Pauline Waterhouse, principal of Blackpool and The Fylde College, said: “This is the first stage of our phased redevelopment plan.

“The external appearance of the Cleveleys building will be transformed, creating a modern and welcoming look to what has become a landmark building on the Fylde Coast.

“ We hope the changes for the better will see increased participation, as well as creating an aspirational environment in which staff and students can engage and feel proud of.”

Work at the Bispham campus will see the appearance improved as white cladding will be installed over the existing structure with insulated aluminium panels.

There will also be replacement windows, external doors and an insulated roof.

Ventilation will be improved in the building and a highly-insulated exterior is designed to slash energy costs as well as being more environmentally friendly.

The improvements should also guarantee the building’s long-term future as it goes above and beyond current building regulations and adds up to 40 years to its life expectancy.

The College has appointed specialist contractor D&B Facades to carry out the project.

It is due for completion at the end of September.

The building will remain open to students, during term time, throughout the development.

Design work has started on the Fleetwood campus and the halls of residence will be modernised as part of plans.

The majority of degree level courses have now been moved to the central Blackpool site on Palatine Road.

To cater for this, Marine Biology and Coastal zone Management and new Fashion Design course are both due to move into new purpose-built facilities on the site.