Merger sees Central Beds College join The Bedford College Group

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Bedford College students

Central Bedfordshire College, with campuses in Dunstable, Houghton Regis, Leighton Buzzard and Luton, will merge with The Bedford College Group, bringing together the two biggest post-16 educators in the area.

The plan was announced on Monday (28 March) and the merger is proposed to take effect from 1 February 2023.

For Central Bedfordshire College (CBC), which recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, it is ‘business as usual’ with classes and courses continuing as expected.

Behind the scenes, the management teams and governing bodies will be working closely together to ensure a seamless transition, and to put plans in place to expand the educational offer to meet the future skills needs of Central Bedfordshire and Luton communities.

The Bedford College Group (TBGT) was formed in 2017 when Bedford College, which includes Shuttleworth College near Biggleswade in the Central Beds authority area, merged with Tresham College in Northamptonshire.

Tresham College has maintained its own identity but benefited from being part of the group which went to to be awarded The Best FE College in Britain status by the Times Educational Supplement.

Dr Ali Hadawi CBE, Chief Executive of CBC, said: “We are excited by the prospect of merging with The Bedford College Group.

“This merger will enable us to offer additional courses in a wider range of subjects to a larger number of learners, young and old. In line with the FE White paper, we will be able to serve our communities through richer and more diverse curricula.

“We will also be able to meet the needs of a broader range of businesses across a wide range of industries locally, hence enhancing their competitiveness and success. This important strategic merger will help ensure that the technical and vocational education and training in the local area are best placed to meet the challenges of our economy in the future.

“This presents an opportunity for us to work with Ian Pryce and colleagues across TBCG to enhance learning and progression for students and create advancement possibilities for our staff.”

Ian Pryce CBE, Chief Executive at The Bedford College Group said: “We are really looking forward to working with Ali Hadawi and his team.

“We already have a great relationship with the College but this will allow us to deepen and build that relationship to create something very special for our community, employers, staff and students.”

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