Two floors of Cirencester College’s largest building will be converted into ‘art lofts’ as part of a refurbishment of ‘cramped and outdated’ classrooms.
It follows a successful bid for £650,000 funding from wave four of the T-level capital fund, ahead of the new Creative T-levels which commence in September 2023.
T-levels are technical-based qualifications that combine classroom learning with on-the-job experience and are equivalent to three A-levels.
New T-levels available from next September include craft and design, media, broadcast and production, and hairdressing, barbering and beauty therapy.
Local architects Roberts Limbrick have designed the new space, the same firm who designed the Gloucestershire Digital Skills Centre and the soon to be completed T-level building at the college.
College principal Jim Grant said “For years at Cirencester our lecturers have successfully taught art, textiles and other creative subjects despite many facilities being cramped and outdated.
“We have also had the issue of what to do with the largest building on our site, a three-storey 1950s classroom block with no disability access.
“Its location and the cost of demolition and rebuilding would be prohibitive and today we should always be looking at refurbishment before replacement.
“Our solution is to convert two floors into large ‘art lofts’ to provide the kind of modern, creative spaces found in the design industry.
“The plans drawn up by Roberts Limbrick Architects will provide full accessibility and modern standards of heating, lighting and ventilation.
“These will be superb spaces with all the facilities needed for our T-level Creative students to learn skills, experiment and produce their work.
“It also means that we can greatly extend the kind of creative courses available to students across the Cotswolds and North Wiltshire which we hope will include fashion, jewellery, ceramics and furnishings.
“We were delighted to hear that our bid for T-level Capital funding to support this project has been approved and our teams have already been mobilised to make sure this new Creative and Design facility is ready for September 2023.”