Construction work underway for £25m redevelopment of Barnfield College in Luton

'This project will create employment opportunities for local people and will enable young people to develop skills'

Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:07 am
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 12:10 am

Work has begun on the £25m redevelopment of Barnfield College s New Bedford Road campus in Luton,

Farrans Construction has started on a £17m construction contract, which is part of a wider £25m revamp project which received planning permissiom from Luton Council last May.

The college, which is part of the West Herts College Group, will be transformed by the significant investment, which will see the construction of a new four storey, prestigious building – complete with central atrium and modern teaching facilities for further education.

An image of the new building under construction

In addition to providing a 6,000sq metre facility, which will accommodate skills delivery for mainstream employment sectors and specialist skills in digital and engineering, it will allow for the expansion of learning provision in space better suited to modern courses.

South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) has provided project funding of £4.75m as part of the Getting Building Fund (GBF) which aims to support the UK’s economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis. The programme funds local, ready to start infrastructure projects which will help local businesses, people and places to thrive.

Hilary Chipping, Chief Executive at SEMLEP said: “We are delighted to be supporting such an exciting new facility that will be of real benefit to the people of Luton and the surrounding areas.

"Through the Getting Building Fund, SEMLEP secured more than £27m from government to support the economic recovery from COVID-19 and projects such as this support key priorities at the heart of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc.

"These priorities include skills for all particularly young people, the green recovery and innovation which all generate jobs and support Luton employers to survive and grow into the future.”

Farrans Construction is a building and civil engineering contractor with over 75 years experience of delivering projects across the UK and Ireland. The company, which employs more than 500 people, has offices in Belfast, London, Cambridge and Edinburgh, with further site offices connecting its regional network.

Farrans is a sister company of Tarmac, and part of CRH plc, a leading building materials business. Farrans recently completed the Hemel Hempstead campus for West Herts College Group and the redevelopment of Barnfield College will continue this relationship.

Cathal Montague, regional director for Farrans Construction, said: “We are looking forward to working on Barnfield College and engaging with the local community to deliver a very exciting building which is fit for the future.

"As a company we are developing a strong reputation as experts in the education sector. We have recently completed Ruislip High School and we are currently onsite on Kings College London, a complex project in the city centre.

“Employment and training are key components of our social commitments on all of our projects and we will be working with West Herts College Group to realise wider project benefits including the creation of sustainable employment, training and skills development to leave a lasting legacy.”

Gill Worgan, Principal and CEO of West Herts College said: “We are pleased to continue our relationship with Farrans having recently completed the redevelopment of a new Construction and Engineering Centre in Hemel Hempstead.

"The new Barnfield College campus building will play a fundamental role in enabling the delivery of a modern curriculum targeting local skills and labour market priorities. While on site this project will create employment opportunities for local people and will enable young people to develop skills through a range work experience opportunities."