College of North West London

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College of North West London
CNWL Logo.jpg
Type Further Education
Principal Andy Cole
Location Dudden Hill Lane
NW10 2XD
England England
Coordinates: 51°33′05″N 0°14′41″W / 51.5515°N 0.2447°W / 51.5515; -0.2447
Local authority London Borough of Brent
DfE URN 130429 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Students 10,500 students
Gender Mixed
Ages 14–no upper age limit

The 'College of North West London ('CNWL) is a further education college in North West London offering a wide range of full-time and part-time courses, from beginner level to degree level.

10,500 students aged 14 and above study at two campuses in Willesden and Wembley Park.[1]

Ofsted recently gave CNWL a grade of Good (January 2016).[2]


CNWL can trace it roots back to 1891, and the formation of Willesden Polytechnic, on the site of its former campus in Kilburn.

From 1893, the Willesden committee for technical education organized classes in Willesden Town Hall. In 1896 Middlesex County Council bought the St. Lawrence institute in Priory Park Road, and by 1898 The Willesden Polytechnic was formed with 1,571 students. A new building was developed for the polytechnic, opening in 1904 on Glengall Road, Kilburn.[3] As World War I took a toll on the male working-class population, the polytechnic offered a course in 1917 to women between the ages of 18 to 35 in light woodwork for aeroplane components.[4]

From 1932, Middlesex County Council undertook a large development in Willesden, and in 1934 split the polytechnic into Kilburn Polytechnic (on the original site), and the new Willesden College of Technology.[3][5] By 1934, the original St. Lawrence Institute building had been demolished, and replaced by the present four-story block. By 1978 there were 1,400 full-time and 4,500 part-time enrolments.[3]

Willesden College of Technology opened in Denzil Road in 1934,[5] to provide the technical courses originally provided by the polytechnic, including the schools of art and building. In 1964 the college took over the buildings of Dudden Hill Lane school. The art school closed in 1959, and in 1969 the school of building amalgamated with other schools to form Sladebrook high school. There were 8,000 enrolments in 1978.[3]

In 1991, the sites again merged to become the College of North West London.[5]


CNWL now offers a broad range of courses, from Apprenticeships and Access courses, through to Foundation Degrees and HNC/HNDs. On site facilities support both students and the community, including the Tower restaurant and public beauty salon.

The Business Division works closely with employers, and is a provider of the Train to Gain programme, and a partner of the West London Lifelong Learning Network.

Current Principal Andy Cole took up his position at the college in January 2014.[6] The new Principal's wage was advertised as being "£135,000 with benefits".[7] City of Westminster College improved their Ofsted grade to 2 in 2013, whilst Andy Cole was their deputy Principal.[8]

Willesden campus[edit]

Developed in 1934 as the Willesden College of Technology, Willesden is the college's main centre. It is situated in Dudden Hill Lane, five minutes' walk from Dollis Hill tube station on the Jubilee line. The entrance is now located on Denzil Road.

Courses range from Access courses (entry to university), BTEC Diplomas and Certificates and GCSEs to Foundation degrees and higher education qualifications.

The Telford building was opened officially in March 2009 by Lord Young of the Government’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. It provides high quality training facilities for the Faculty of Technology.

The front building viewed from Dudden Hill Lane (known as 'Edison') of the Willesden Campus was demolished in 2015 and there are plans to replace it with a new multimillion-pound facility. Planning permission is yet to be submitted.

Wembley Park campus[edit]

This campus is now based at Crescent house, located just outside Wembley Park tube station in Wembley Park. The Tower Restaurant and the hair and beauty salons, which are open to the general public, are both based at this centre. The building was refurbished in 2012 and re-opened in November 2012 by Gino D'Acampo

Kilburn campus[edit]

The original part of the site dates to 1890, with Art Deco additions in the 1930s with the development of Kilburn Polytechnic. A brand new £5 million college centre was opened in Priory Park Road, on 31 August 2007 by the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone.[5] The Mayor told guests "To come here and see something as beautiful as this – it makes you want to do a course just to enjoy the building."[9] He also added that "this college has been designed as a role model for what we want across London, which is to give people the opportunity to get in on the first rung of education and get the skills they want in life."[9] Principal Vicki Fagg described the building as "architecturally stunning",[9] while assistant principal Malcolm Rapier remarked: "It is a real statement for further education students and for Kilburn."[10]

In May 2008, the centre won second prize in the RIBA / LSC Further Education Design Excellence Awards, with the judges complementing the College on its contribution to the regeneration of Kilburn.[11]

In March 2010, the college announced that it would close operations at Kilburn from September 2010.[12] The courses taught at Kilburn were transferred to the College's sites at Willesden and Wembley.

In November 2010, the local Times newspaper reported that the college was planning to sell the Kilburn campus. 4.[13] The sale of the site was completed in 2014.

University links[edit]

The College of North West London runs a number of Higher Education qualifications and has close links with:



  1. ^ "AoC Create Application – Home". Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Raffray, Nathalie (18 February 2016). "College of North West London is rated 'good' by Ofsted". Brent & Kilburn Times. Retrieved 1 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 7". British History Online. 1982. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  4. ^ "post free – flight – aero engines – 1917 – 0262 – Flight Archive". Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Mayor of London opens new College of North West London 'green' building". 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2009-10-08. 
  6. ^ King, Lorraine. "Principal of the College of North West London to retire". Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  7. ^ "AoC Create Application – Home". Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  8. ^, Ofsted Communications Team. (5 November 2010). "Find an inspection report". Retrieved 30 January 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c "Nice one, says Ken". 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Kilburn shortlisted". 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  11. ^ "College wins design silver". 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  12. ^ "Students demo after massive college cuts". 2010-03-25. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  13. ^ "End of the Road for Campus" (PDF). 2010-11-04. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 

External links[edit]