Nelson and Colne College

Established 1972
Administrative staff
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 courses to post-16 students, adult learners and those in employment looking to gain new or additional qualifications.


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.


£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 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 production kitchens.

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 place to work.

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, refurbished science laboratories. The engineering workshops have also been refitted. The central concourse between the main building and the Pendle and Deerstone buildings is currently in the process of renovation, expanding the library and its computer facilities whilst providing more seating for students on a lunch time (the new build will mostly be glass). The grounds to the rear of the college are also being renovated with the addition of a large AstroTurf pitch to further improve sporting facilities, the car park will also be extended.



  1. "FE students add to Team GB Olympic medal haul". FE Week. Retrieved 22 August 2016.

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