PRESS: Gloucestershire College becomes first in the UK to buy house for students to renovate

7 March 2016

Gloucestershire Echo Press Coverage - Gloucestershire College becomes first in the UK to buy house for students to renovate

Gloucestershire College has become the first in the United Kingdom to buy a house as a renovation project for its students.

The house on Tredworth Road has been purchased for £71,500, and the project aims to further develop student's skills and provide them with practical experience of working on-site.

Principal Matthew Burgess, Gloucester MP Richard Graham and some students have officially launched the project.

Over 400 students studying electrical, plastering, brickwork, plumbing, painting and decorating, carpentry and bench joinery courses at the College's Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest of Dean campuses will have the opportunity to work on the house, with completion planned for summer 2016.

HNC construction students have also been involved in producing drawings and surveys, while students from other academic areas have been documenting progress and designing colour schemes.

Principal Matthew Burgess said: "This is a really exciting student-focused project which also bring some real value to the local community.

"We are committed to ensuring our students leave college skilled, employable and motivated, and are champions of the value of work experience.

"There is a local skills shortage in the construction industry and this house, in addition to our recently launched Construction Centres in Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean, will provide our students with a wide range of experiences and opportunities, including site work and working with trades on collaborative projects, which will ultimately give them the edge in future employment."

He added: "We believe we're the first college to buy a property as a student renovation project and I can't wait to see what the student led teams achieve on site."

The work to be carried out will include reinstating some of the original Victorian features and installing a modern kitchen and bathroom.

This will involve stripping out, electrical work, plumbing, fitting new internal and external doors and windows, and renovating the garden and all other rooms, including plastering, painting and decorating.

Once the house is completed to a professional standard, the College plans to sell the property and reinvest in another renovation property for students.

The College will be documenting progress of the house in a blog – visit www.gloscol.ac.uk/gchouse for the latest updates.

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