We're very excited to unveil what the new Forest of Dean Campus will look like, to give the community something tangible to look forward to. The building work is going to plan and we are hitting all of the planned milestones to date, with excitement building for our staff and students too.
State-of-the-art Forest of Dean Campus Opening September 2018
The new campus will be located in Cinderford, as part of a larger regeneration project to develop the area to include residential and commercial property, a new link road and leisure facilities.
Courses available at this campus:
- Art and Design
- Early Years
- Foundation Studies
- Health and Social Care
- Outdoor Education
- Travel and Tourism
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It has taken many years to get to this point but throughout that time we have remained fully committed to the project. Our aim is for the new campus to be a focus for technical training in the Forest of Dean area. We are very grateful to our partners for their support to date and are looking forward to getting underway with the build.
I currently study at the GC Campus at Five Acres. What will happen to my course while the new college is being built and once it’s completed?
The existing Forest of Dean Campus at Five Acres will remain open as normal while the new campus is being built and will accept new students onto courses that start in September 2018.
If your course continues into the 2018/19 academic year, it will move across to the new campus once it is open, with the same lecturers and course content, but in the new, modern facilities.
How will I get to the new campus?
We will be working with both Stagecoach and other contracted bus providers to offer bus routes to the new campus to/from destinations around the Forest of Dean, including Coleford, Lydney, Monmouth and Cinderford town centre. The area will also be served by buses from Gloucester city centre.
A new spine road will run from Broadmoor Road in Cinderford to Cinderford Brook, allowing vehicle access to the College. Student parking spaces will be available at the campus.
There will also be access to the campus by foot/cycle path from Cinderford.
How much will it cost me to travel by bus to the campus?
Stagecoach will continue to offer GC students discounted fares to and from college. We will also continue with the current season ticket scheme for other bus routes.
What if I can’t afford the bus fare?
If you have concerns about funding, contact GC Student Services on 0345 155 2020.
Will you still be running my course when the new campus opens?
Yes, we will continue to provide the same courses we currently run from the Forest of Dean Campus.
I’m a current student, will my course fees remain the same?
Fees are reviewed on an annual basis in line with College procedures.
Will the College be offering new courses at the new campus?
Yes, we will be introducing a number of new courses once the new campus is ready such as Travel and Tourism and Business.
What new facilities will the campus have?
The new campus will have facilities for up to 1,500 students, including a sixth form centre, specialist art studios; construction and motor vehicle workshops; industry standard training kitchens; ICT suites; a contemporary learning resource centre; and teaching spaces for business, healthcare, early years and outdoor education. There will also be hairdressing and beauty therapy salons and a student run restaurant open to the public.
Students will be able to relax and buy lunch in a large, airy refectory, and can enjoy the lakeside surroundings in an outdoor picnic area.
Will the new campus be easy and safe to get to?
Yes, it will be located in a prominent, central and easily accessible place on the Northern Quarter site adjacent to Steam Mills Lake. The campus will be served by public transport and the development of the new spine road, which will be a pedestrian friendly tree-lined boulevard, will make it easily accessible by car, bike or on foot.
What is the aim of the Northern Quarter redevelopment?
To create a mixed use, sensitively designed, exemplar eco-friendly development, well integrated with the natural and built landscape and providing a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Cinderford through the provision of higher skill, higher wage jobs; new opportunities for education; high quality and affordable housing; and state-of-the-art new community facilities (Northern Quarter Baseline Report, April 2009).
What else is being built as part of the Northern Quarter redevelopment?
A number of leisure, housing and business developments are planned for the area, including:
- A hotel in a visible location adjacent to the new spine road and enjoying views across the Forest. This would be located next to the college and have links to hospitality, catering and training facilities;
- A site for high quality employment;
- A residential area of up to 195 homes;
- A new flagship multi-use activity centre;
- Areas of retained and improved woodland and grassland;
- New footway and cycle links integrated to cross county routes.
Who is funding the Northern Quarter regeneration?
The wider Northern Quarter Project is a joint venture between the Forest of Dean District Council and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) which has benefited from £3.8m funding from Gfirst LEP towards the construction of the spine road (phase 1). The new college campus has been funded by Gloucestershire College, £2.6m from Growth Deal 3 secured by Gfirst LEP and additional funding from the HCA.
Once constructed, the spine road and college will be maintained by revenue budgets from Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire College respectively.
What was at the site formally?
The 84 hectare Northern Quarter site was formally used for mining, with many derelict mining buildings remaining in the area.
Parts of the site are currently used for recreation, with an angling club and recreational walks. The other existing uses reflect the industrial legacy of the site, including a breaking yard and brick works.
What is happening to the wildlife in the area?
Extensive work has been undertaken to make sure animals have been rehomed along the route of the road to keep them safe. Great Crested Newts and other common species have been successfully relocated and several new ponds created in the surrounding area.
Will the existing forest and lake in the area be destroyed in the development?
The forest, which takes up large areas of the site, will be retained, leaving only grassed areas and brownfield land for the proposed development.
The Steam Mills Lake will remain as a key feature of the site.
I’ve seen reports that the area is unsafe. Should I be worried?
There has been extensive health and safety exploration of the site which has deemed safe for redevelopment.
What will happen to the existing college building at Five Acres?
Ownership of the existing college building will be transferred to the West Dean Parish Council and Forest of Dean District Council.
How do I keep up to date with the progress of the build?
We will be reporting on the progress of the new campus in the News section of our website.
You can also keep up to date on the wider Northern Quarter regeneration by checking the Forest of Dean District Council website: www.fdean.gov.uk and in the local media.
If you have any further questions, contact our Student Services team on 0345 155 2020