Nelson and Colne College

Nelson and Colne College
Nelson and College
Established 1972
Admin. staff 30
Students 1,600
Location Colne and Nelson, Lancashire, England, UK

Nelson & Colne College is situated in the town of Nelson, Lancashire, North West of England, providing Further Education to Pendle and the surrounding districts. It is a tertiary college, offering numerous courses to post-16 students, adult learners and those in employment looking to gain new or additional qualifications.

In 2008, during the latest inspection by Ofsted, the college was described as ‘Outstanding’ overall and was awarded prestigious Beacon College status by the Quality Improvement Service, placing it amongst the top providers of Further Education in the UK. In addition to these accolades, the college also has Investors in People status, which recognises the college’s continual commitment to the support and development of its staff.[citation needed]



Founded during the reorganisation of education in Pendle in the early 1970s, Nelson & Colne College was created by a merger of a number of local sixth forms. Since then the college has grown in size, currently serving the educational needs of around 1600 full-time students and 4-5000 part-time students, depending on the time of year.


The college offers a variety of courses including GCSEs and A Levels, in addition to vocational accreditations such as NVQs and National Diplomas. The college also works together with local companies to provide training for apprenticeships and trainees, utilising many funding streams including the government’s Train to Gain initiative.

Encompassing both day and evening classes, the courses on offer are many and varied. In addition to traditional academic subjects such as English, Maths, Sociology, Psychology, Languages, History and Science, the college offers courses in Beauty Therapy, Hairdressing, Engineering, IT, Drama, Media and Music Technology.

Professional qualifications such as Teaching Assistant and AAT Qualifications (Association of Accounting Technicians) can be obtained at the college and more unusual courses such as Gourmet Cookery, Horticulture, Urdu, Dinner Party Cooking, Cake Decorating, Pottery and Website Design are offered.


After recently completing its £20 million+ new build and refurbishment programme, the college has extensive facilities on offer to students. In addition to free computer and internet access in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC), where well-qualified staff can offer advice and guidance on a variety of topics, there is a new internet café, a student’s common room with large flat-screen TV, a fitness centre and a large dining refectory.

Moodle, the college’s interactive learning environment, allows students access to a variety of resources, including lesson plans, rooming lists and notes from previous classes. Students can keep in touch with each other through various forums and read the weekly “students news” bulletin

New Build

In order to amalgamate the college onto one campus, Nelson & Colne College gained funding of over £20 million, which allowed for the provision of new buildings and refurbishment of some existing facilities. The college has used the funds wisely and further developed the college into one of the best centres for learning in the UK.

Facilities include an impressive sports hall large enough to accommodate six tennis courts and a fitness centre that was named after and opened by former student and Olympic cycling hero, Steven Burke. There are also state of the art hairdressing and beauty therapy salons with modern resources allowing students to offer a vast range of commercial treatments. With a strong background in catering excellence, the college now enjoys new catering and hospitality facilities, including a restaurant and bistro named Farringtons after recently retired Deputy Principal, John Farrington and 3 fully equipped production kitchens. Not wanting to forget the creative students, there is also a wonderful new theatre with professional lighting rig and recording studios and inspirational new design studios aimed at providing innovative facilities for creating wonderful works of art.

All of these new facilities have been designed with teaching and learning in mind. All classrooms have the latest interactive whiteboard technology and there are an increased number of IT suites across the college’s campus. The modern exterior is continued internally, providing students with a light, bright place to work. In particular, creative arts students have praised the light created by the green perspex façade of the building, as it allows plenty of light into the rooms whilst creating a serene atmosphere.

In addition to these new buildings, the remainder of the college has also undergone a transformation, with new dining and social areas including a cybercafé, specialist facilities for students requiring additional support, a learning resource centre with extensive study space and refurbished science laboratories. The engineering workshops have also been refitted to a professional standard, which will help prepare students who will be working in the industry.


  • Thomas Morrison - Actor (who played the role of Hooper in the recent adaptation of Brideshead Revisited)
  • Phil Woolas - M.P.
  • Paul Griffiths - CEO of Babycakes Clothing
  • Paul Waring

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