South Cheshire College, England Education Building, Design, Architect, FE Institution

South Cheshire College

Further Education Development in Cheshire, northwest England – FE building design by Jefferson Sheard

14 May 2012

South Cheshire College Design

Design: Jefferson Sheard Architects

Address: Dane Bank Ave, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 8AB

Phone: 01270 654654

Jefferson Sheard was appointed to design a new campus for South Cheshire College which replaced the outdated facilities.

South Cheshire College had a vision for a flagship building which reflects the excellence of the College. To create a welcoming campus that encourages learning by fully meeting the needs of the students and integrating the teaching of vocational skills with real life business activity alongside the ‘academic curriculum’.

South Cheshire College is the largest most modern FE scheme that we have designed to date. Developed and managed by Jefferson Sheard, this scheme includes construction workshops and art studios amongst other general teaching curriculums areas, sport and leisure all combined in a single building.

South Cheshire College South Cheshire College South Cheshire College South Cheshire College South Cheshire College
images from architect

The concept of the College is the gathering together of learning and teaching spaces into a series of ‘clusters’, each of a distinct vocational character. The ‘clusters’ are then distributed along the curved glass atrium by way of activity / function. For example the theatre cluster is near the main entrance of the campus due to its public facing nature, the other clusters then lead round from creative arts to construction and engineering to the large sports hall in the centre. Towards the rear of the building are the ‘quieter’ more private teaching clusters and the Learning Resource Centre.

The campus has been designed to be as environmentally sustainable and as carbon neutral as reasonably and realistically achievable. The College has been awarded a BREEAM ‘very good’ certificate, this has been achieved through maximising the potential of the site and creating environmental benefits – both in terms of energy efficiency and conservation of natural resources. The College incorporates many sustainable measures and renewable technologies to ensure that the carbon footprint is lower than current Building Regulation minimum standards.

The designs for South Cheshire College have been heralded by the CABE representative as: ‘Creating the leading FE institution in the United Kingdom”.

Students have been provided with state-of-the-art teaching and learning areas, indoor and outdoor social spaces and wireless networking which means they can log on to the College’s computer network, virtually at any place at any time. College Principal Peter Swift has stated “A lot of hard work has gone into the project but the campus has been completed on time and we are absolutely delighted with the fi nal outcome.

The College now offers one of the fi nest further education buildings in the country, at the heart of the community, and will serve generations of learners in Crewe, Nantwich and beyond for many years to come.”

“These facilities can only enhance the quality of teaching and learning that we provide at South Cheshire College and help students to achieve their goals and aspirations while they are with us.”

Value: £60m
Client: South Cheshire College


South Cheshire College Building News

Design: Jefferson Sheard Architects


High-flying South Cheshire College has appointed Jefferson Sheard Architects to design its new state-of-the-art campus it announced today.

South Cheshire College Jefferson Sheard Architects South Cheshire College
images from architect

The new campus development project aims to prepare the College for the 21st century and create the finest education building in the country.

It will provide a flagship facility at the heart of the Crewe and Nantwich community to serve many generations to come.

Jefferson Sheard’s plans for the £34.6 million building were selected from a design-led tender against some high-profile competition.

The company has a wealth of experience and has delivered or is currently in the process of delivering £110 million worth of projects in the further education sector.

Major design projects which the company has masterminded include Sheffield College’s new Castle Campus, which will includes a green roof and wind turbines, and Liverpool South parkway station – a benchmark project for Merseytravel.

South Cheshire College wants to re-build its campus, which was built in the 1960’s, to meet a growth in demand as student numbers continue to rise. It is currently the sole provider of post-16 education in Crewe and is home to well over 11,000 full time and part time students and 400 staff.

The College is the best in the country, after an outstanding 2004 Ofsted inspection, and as well as gaining Beacon Status it is also rated as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in a Sunday Times survey earlier this year. College Principal Dr David Collins CBE is excited by the new campus development project and believes it is the way forward for further education in Crewe and Nantwich.

Dr Collins said: “We have been planning the new facility for some time now and the appointment of Jefferson Sheard marks the start of the development project. A new campus is needed to prepare the College for the 21st century and create the finest education building in the country. We want to raise the staying on-rates in Crewe and deliver a flagship purpose-designed college which matches the excellence in provision. Hopefully the new design will inspire our staff and students for many generations to come.”

During the planning process the College identified a series of essential characteristics, including creating a carbon neutral building, which Jefferson Sheard will now implement. These included creating a carbon-neutral building grouping curriculum areas together in clusters and connecting these areas with lively and exciting social spaces.

Project Architect Claire Ailward said: “The new building is planned around clusters of related disciplines, connected by lively and exciting shared social spaces.

“The aim is to create an open learning environment which will provide a wonderful learning experience. Jefferson Sheard Architects are well equipped to implement these the College’s objectives for sustainability having had previous experience of incorporating sustainable features into further education buildings.”

A number of sites were considered for the campus including a new build at Mill Street and a remodel and part new build but it was decided to do a complete new build on the Dane Bank site. The final proposals and design of the new campus is set to be agreed by the planners and the Learning Skills Council (LSC) in spring 2007 – with the final LSC sign off next autumn.

A contractor will then be selected by tender with building work set to get underway in March / April 2008 working towards a September 2010 opening. During the initial planning process the College has been working closely with staff, students, head teachers, local officers, politicians and residents to bring the exciting project to fruition.

Dr Collins added: “This is the start of what promises to be the start of a very exciting journey for South Cheshire College. Now we have appointed the architects we are on the first step of the ladder and the project can really start to take shape. We are looking forward to working closely with a full spectrum of local people to give them a facility at the heart of the community which they can all be extremely proud of.”

South Cheshire College Development – information: 01270 65465

South Cheshire College images / information from Jefferson Sheard Architects 171006

South Cheshire College design : Jefferson Sheard Architects

Location: South Cheshire College, Northwest England, UK

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Website: Crewe, Cheshire