Bridgwater and Taunton College

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Bridgwater and Taunton College
BridgwaterTauntonCollegeLogo.png
Established 1973
Type Sixth form and further education college
Principal Andy Berry
Chairman of Governing Body Derek Randall
Location Bath Road
Bridgwater
Somerset
TA6 4PZ
England
Local authority Somerset
DfE URN 130803 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Gender Co-educational
Website btc.ac.uk

Bridgwater and Taunton College is a further education college based in Bridgwater, Somerset, England. It educates approximately 1500 students between the ages of 16-18 in academic and vocational programmes in addition to several thousand part-time or mature students. It also has campuses in Cannington and Yeovil. The college was founded in 1973, although the history of its predecessor institutions dates to 1891.

The college's 2006 Ofsted report stated that there were 15,801 students enrolled in the 2004-2005 period. It also gave an "Outstanding Grade 1" to all areas assessed.[1]

The college offers courses from entry level through higher education. In addition to A-Levels and BTEC qualifications, the college offers the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. The college has links with the University of Plymouth by way of the University of Plymouth Colleges network, Bournemouth University, Oxford Brookes University and is part of the Wessex Partnership, in association with Bath Spa University. After a merger with Cannington College in September 2004, the college expanded its curriculum of full-time and part-time courses for school leavers, adults, university level students, the business community and students from overseas.

In 2012 the college became the sponsor of Bridgwater College Academy[2]

In 2016 Bridgwater College merged with Somerset College of Arts and Technology[3]

The College's Paignton centre closed in 2017.

History[edit]

Bridgwater College was founded in its present form in 1973. The college was created by the reconstitution of its predecessor, the Bridgwater Technical College, to provide Bridgwater with a sixth-form and further education college.[4] The college has occupied buildings at its present site in Bath Road since 1978.

Through the Technical College the roots of tertiary education in Bridgwater can be traced to the establishment of the Bridgwater School of Art in George Street in 1860.[5] A second art school was established in 1888 in Queen Street. This became the Bridgwater Art and Technical School after its relocation to Lonsdale House in Blake Street in 1891.[6] The school, which had been renamed as the Art and Technical Institute since at least 1931, was renamed again in 1958 when it became the Bridgwater Technical College. During the following two years, the college expanded with the acquisition of premises in Mount Street, Queen Street and new buildings in Broadway, where it continued until the college acquired its current name in 1973. Further buildings in Park Road were occupied from 1975, but by 1988 most of the college's departments were located at its buildings in Bath Road.[7]

Campuses[edit]

Bridgwater College

The main centre, Bridgwater Campus, houses facilities which include a television studio, forensics laboratory, a motorsport centre and an £8 million building devoted to health & fitness.[8] The centre also houses numerous commercial units such as an early years centre, a beauty salon, a hair salon, a gym, and The McMillan Theatre which opened in 2015.

The Cannington Campus was established as Cannington College in 1921. Facilities include a new golf course, equestrian centre, commercially run farm, glass houses covering 1,000 m2 (11,000 sq ft), wildlife havens, vineyard and the new animal management centre. Many students reside on site.

The Yeovil Centre offers courses in animal care, animal management, agriculture and floristry. Students have access to the centre’s collection housed at Lufton College. Students have access to facilities on the adjacent Yeovil College campus.

The Paignton Centre used to be situated within the grounds of Paignton Zoological Environmental Park. The centre offered full-time courses in animal care and animal management. These courses are now held at the College's Cannington Campus.

The Angel Place Skills Centre used to be located in the middle of Bridgwater and offers adults IT, literacy, and numeracy lessons - these courses are now offered by the College at the Bridgwater Campus.

The Energy Skills Centre was completed in 2011 to teach nuclear decommissioning for shutting down Hinkley Point B Nuclear Power Station and constructing power plants. Hinkley C.[9] The building also has a windmill and photo-voltaic panels on the roof.[10]

Following the merger of Bridgwater College and Somerset College of Arts and Technology in June 2016, the College's second largest centre is the Taunton Campus. Situated on Wellington Road in Taunton, this campus offers degree level courses as well as vocational 16-18 education.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bridgwater College, Inspection Report" (PDF). OFSTED website. OFSTED. 2006. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  2. ^ James, Kirsty (7 September 2012). "Mercury tours Bridgwater College Academy". Bridgwater Mercury. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "A university for Somerset? Two of county's biggest colleges to merge". Somerset County Gazette. Retrieved 2016-06-28. 
  4. ^ "College History". Bridgwater College. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "Bridgwater: Education". British History Online. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Blake Street" (PDF). Bridgwater Heritage. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Bridgwater: Education". British History Online. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Brdgwater College". Work in Tourism. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  9. ^ McKowen, Rory (24 January 2011). "Energy and Climate Change minister MP Chris Huhne opens new Energy Skills Centre at Bridgwater College". Bridgwater Mercury. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 
  10. ^ "Southwest flagship centre opened". National Skills Academy. Retrieved 11 March 2011. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°07′53″N 2°59′16″W / 51.13139°N 2.98778°W / 51.13139; -2.98778