The Department for Education has announced that Bishop Laney Sixth Form (Ely College), part of Meridian Trust, will receive additional funding to increase its student intake and expand and refurbish its buildings.
Bishop Laney Sixth Form currently accepts 150 students per year group, but this expansion will allow the school to create a further 50 places per year group, taking the total intake from 300 to 400 places.
The sixth form will also receive capital funding from the Government’s £140 million ‘Post-16 Capacity Fund’. This will enable a £5 million renovation and upgrade of ‘Needhams Tower’ to become the new home of Bishop Laney Sixth Form, as well as providing new classroom space for students and staff at Ely College.
Richard Spencer, Executive Principal said: “We are delighted that our application to expand Bishop Laney Sixth Form (Ely College) has been accepted. The accompanying investment will significantly improve our facilities and spaces at Ely College, as well as provide us with the capacity to offer more students access to an excellent sixth form experience locally. We will be sharing details of the plans in due course and are very grateful for all the support we have received in this application.”
This news follows a successful application by Ely College and Meridian Trust in November 2022, which noted the anticipated rise in demand for school places in East Cambridgeshire, and was supported by Ms Frazer as the local Member of Parliament.
Responding to the announcement, Lucy Frazer MP said: “Ely College is a fantastic educator of many young people in my constituency, so I am delighted by this news. The new funding announced this week will enable 100 more pupils every year to learn important skills that will set them up for the world of work. It also prepares our area for the anticipated increase in demand for student places.”
The planning process is underway, with works anticipated to run from early 2024, with a target for completion of early 2025. More details will follow in the coming months, but the College have shared an initial concept design (pictured below).
The renovated tower will be ‘net zero’ energy consumption and will be fully accessible with lift access. The College also aims to re-lay the car park area and provide additional spaces to alleviate the pressure.
Simon Warburton, Principal of Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form said: “At Bishop Laney Sixth Form, we aim to provide a thriving college experience within a centre of academic and professional 16-19 excellence. This vital funding will allow us to bring this opportunity to many more young people locally and wouldn’t have been possible without the success of our brilliant team at Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form. A lot of hard work has gone into this project, and I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to getting us to this point.”
For more information about Ely College and Bishop Laney Sixth Form, please visit: www.elycollege.com.