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New City College

Coordinates: 51°30′31″N 0°01′00″W / 51.5086°N 0.0166°W / 51.5086; -0.0166
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(Redirected from Tower Hamlets College)

New City College
Poplar High Street, E14 0AF


Coordinates51°30′31″N 0°01′00″W / 51.5086°N 0.0166°W / 51.5086; -0.0166
TypeFurther education college
Establishedc. 1906–2016 – founding institutions
2016 – New City College
Local authorityTower Hamlets, Hackney, Redbridge, Epping Forest, Havering
Department for Education URN146649 Tables
Group PrincipalGerry McDonald
Enrolment13,000+ (2018–19)[1]

New City College (NCC) is a large college of further education with campuses in East London and Essex. The college was formed in 2016 with the amalgamation of separate colleges, beginning with the merger between Tower Hamlets College and Hackney Community College, followed by the gradual additions of Redbridge College, Epping Forest College, and both Havering College of Further and Higher Education and Havering Sixth Form College. It is the second largest provider of post-16 education in the country since 2019.[2]


Various vocational and academic programmes are offered across New City Colleges such as A levels, T Levels , BTECs, ESOL programmes and Higher Education courses.

History and sites[edit]

The college has 9 buildings and 5 campuses around London and Essex: Redbridge (Ilford and Chadwell Heath), Tower Hamlets (Poplar and Arbour Square), Hackney, Epping Forest (Debden) and Havering (Ardleigh Green, Rainham and Hornchurch). All of these were inherited from its predecessors. The college is partnered with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, with Tottenham's academy staff providing professional coaching to students of all genders in support of the college's sports courses.[3]

Tower Hamlets[edit]

Tower Hamlets main campus

The largest building of the Tower Hamlets campus is on Poplar High Street, about 700 m north of Canary Wharf; the others are at Arbour Square, Bethnal Green and the TowerSkills on East India Dock Road.

The college is housed in the former building of the School of Marine Engineering and Navigation established by the London County Council opened in 1906.[4] This later evolved into Poplar Technical College, which retained a maritime focus. Tower Hamlets College (THC) was established in 1990.[5]

The College faced increasing competition at sixth form provision from local schools in Tower Hamlets and underwent an OFSTED inspection in December 2013 which awarded the College good college status (Ofsted, December 2013)[6] As of 2009/10 the college had 18,986 enrolments, of which 66% were adults age 19 and over.[7]

The College launched the Attlee A Level Academy in 2019 at its Arbour Square Centre in Stepney. This is a specific A Level centre dedicated to high achievement and university progression. It is named after the UK's post-war prime minister Clement Attlee who was committed to positive social change and opportunity for all. It was opened by Attlee's great grandson and the college continues to have strong links with the Attlee Foundation which has the mission 'opportunity for all'.


Hackney Community College in 2005

Its campus is in Falkirk Street in Hoxton, backing onto Hoxton Street. When the campus opened in 1996, it was Britain's largest capital further education building project.

The college was originally named Hackney College when it was formed in 1974 by the amalgamation of Hackney and Stoke Newington College of Further Education with those sites of Poplar Technical College that had been established in Hackney. It was initially run by Inner London Education Authority (ILEA) and, following that, by Hackney Council, when it was renamed. For a few years it was known as The Community College Shoreditch, but later reverted to the name Hackney Community College (dating from the process known as "incorporation" in 1993 when it was formed from the merger of Hackney College, Hackney Sixth Form Centre and Hackney Adult Education Institute, as a result of the Further and Higher Education Act 1992.) In August 2016, Hackney Community College merged with Tower Hamlets to create a more responsive and financially robust larger organisation, named New City College.

It is home to the Tech City Apprenticeship, the London Technical Fashion Academy, the London City Hospitality Centre and its training restaurant, Open Kitchen.

HCC's SPACe (Sport and Performing Arts Centre) was funded by Sport England as a centre of excellence in cricket and basketball. SPACe was home to London United Basketball. It is now branded New City Fitness and is still the base for the Hackney Community College Basketball Academy, as well as academies in other sports and is open to the public as a commercial gym. The impressive sports centre was used as a training camp for basketball during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Previous Hackney institutions[edit]

'Hackney College' has also been widely used (by Pevsner and others) to refer specifically to Brooke House, until September 2002 one of the Community College's sites. This has now become BSix Sixth Form College.

The modern version of the term should also be distinguished from previous Hackney Colleges:

Both of these merged in 1900, becoming the University of London's first Faculty of Theology. In 1924 this became, by Act of Parliament, a constituent college known as Hackney and New College, the two names by which its disparate buildings throughout north London were commonly known. In 1934 new premises were planned. In 1936, the name of the college was simplified to New College London, harking back to the Congregationalist merger of 1850.[8]


New City College Redbridge Campus, near King George Hospital

The Redbridge Campus has two sites in Ilford, one in the town centre and another next to King George Hospital.

Redbridge College began life as Redbridge Technical College on 2 June 1970.[9] It offered vocational courses in a range of subjects. It was once a major centre for deaf students or those with learning difficulties.[10] The college merged into New City College in 2017.

Epping Forest[edit]

The Epping Forest campus is located in Borders Lane in Debden, a suburb of Loughton.

Epping Forest College was founded in 1989 as a tertiary college after the re-organisation of post-16 education in south-west Essex. It was created from the Loughton College of Further Education and the sixth forms from seven local secondary schools.[11] Due to financial and quality issues, the college merged with New City College in 2018, a move that was protested by Epping Forest District council fearing it would lose community focus.[12]

Havering Sixth Form College[edit]

Havering Sixth Form College, part of the New City College Group, is a high achieving sixth form college in Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch in the London Borough of Havering, East London, England. Built on the site of Dury Falls Secondary School, it opened in September 1991, and educates full-time students from the ages of 16 to 19. The college offers a wide range of subjects, in A-level, BTEC and diploma formats, amongst others.

Havering College[edit]

Havering College is part of New City College since it merged with the NCC Group in 2019. The main campus is on Ardleigh Green Road. It is also linked to the New City College Rainham campus which was significantly re-built and re-opened in 2020.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50127711 [bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "Havering principal hails 'new era' for young people as colleges announce merger with New City College". August 2019.
  3. ^ "NEW CITY COLLEGE". Tottenham Hotspur. Retrieved 7 June 2023.
  4. ^ "Poplar High Street: South side". British History Online. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  5. ^ https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/3379/1/tower_hamlets_cyc1.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  6. ^ "Ofsted | Tower Hamlets College". Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  7. ^ "Raising Achievements – Tower Hamlets College". Raisingachievements.com. Retrieved 8 February 2019.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ 'Coward College, Byng Place', Survey of London: volume 21: The parish of St Pancras part 3: Tottenham Court Road & neighbourhood (1949), pp. 91. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=65179 Date accessed: 15 January 2010. The article itself states in its references that it depends on "information supplied by the Rev. J. B. Binns, Secretary and Librarian of New College, London, and also the articles on Dr. Doddridge and William Coward in Dictionary of National Biography. The date of the Agreement with Coward's Trustees under which New College was formed was 10th September, 1849."
  9. ^ "REDBRIDGE: College marks 40th birthday".
  10. ^ https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/3791/1/Redbridge_College_2001.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  11. ^ https://dera.ioe.ac.uk/3032/1/epping_forest_cyc1.pdf [bare URL PDF]
  12. ^ "Essex council protests college merger with London group". 15 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Who's on the new education select committee?". 2 July 2015.
  14. ^ Joseph, Chanté. "Micheal Ward on returning to Top Boy and rubbing shoulders with Quentin Tarantino". British GQ. Retrieved 15 May 2023.

External links[edit]