New City College

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New City College
Poplar High Street, E14 0AF


CoordinatesCoordinates: 51°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 by the constituent colleges of New City Colleges such as A levels, BTECs, Diplomas, ESOL programmes and Access courses. In addition, certain colleges have currently or in the past provided some higher education courses in conjunction with the University of East London.

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.

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.[3] This later evolved into Poplar Technical College, which retained a maritime focus. Tower Hamlets College (THC) was established in 1990.[4]

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) [5] As of 2009/10 the college had 18,986 enrolments, of which 66% were adults age 19 and over.[6]

The largest ethnic group in the college is Bangladeshi, predominantly Muslims. The college hosts one of the Great Britain's largest Islamic society of College.[7] Tower Hamlets College was featured in the book of The Islamist by Ed Husain, who was a former president of the Islamic Society at THC and explains the growing Islamic fundamentalism of Muslim students part of the Islamic Society during 1992.[8]


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 and is still the base for the Hackney Community College Basketball Academy, as well as academies in other sports. SPACe 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.[9]


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.[10] It offered vocational courses in a range of subjects. It was once a major centre for deaf students or those with learning difficulties.[11] 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.[12] Due to financial strains, 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.[13]

Havering Colleges[edit]

Havering Colleges is a constituent college formed from Havering College of Further and Higher Education and Havering Sixth Form College. Collectively the Havering Colleges, they retain their individual identities as part of the New City College group.[14]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^[bare URL PDF]
  2. ^ "Havering principal hails 'new era' for young people as colleges announce merger with New City College". August 2019.
  3. ^ "Poplar High Street: South side". British History Online. Institute of Historical Research. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  4. ^[bare URL PDF]
  5. ^ "Ofsted | Tower Hamlets College". Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Raising Achievements – Tower Hamlets College". Retrieved 8 February 2019.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Taking action in college and community – QCA Archived 10 November 2008 at the UK Government Web Archive
  8. ^ Ed Husain (2007). The Islamist: Why I Joined Radical Islam in Britain, what I Saw Inside and why I Left. Penguin. pp. 52–60. ISBN 978-0-14-103043-2.
  9. ^ 'Coward College, Byng Place', Survey of London: volume 21: The parish of St Pancras part 3: Tottenham Court Road & neighbourhood (1949), pp. 91. URL: 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."
  10. ^ "REDBRIDGE: College marks 40th birthday".
  11. ^[bare URL PDF]
  12. ^[bare URL PDF]
  13. ^ "Essex council protests college merger with London group". 15 June 2018.
  14. ^ "News Details | New City College".
  15. ^ "Who's on the new education select committee?". 2 July 2015.

External links[edit]