Topping out ceremony held at new town Campus

THE sun shone on Stourbridge College’s skyline-changing new art and design campus in Brierley Hill as dignitaries gathered for the official ‘topping out’ ceremony.

College principal Lynette Cutting put the last piece of concrete in place at the event on Friday (March 25) marking the completion of the structure of the £12m building in Venture Way.

Work is now due to start on the state-of-the-art interior – and the college is due to open its doors to students in September.

Lynette said: “It’s incredible, after all the challenges we have faced with finance that we have reached this stage and record numbers of applications for our art and design courses are testimony to the fact that creative industries is alive and well in the Dudley borough.

“It’s a fantastic building and its really stands out.”

Located on the old Brier School site, the campus has been four years making.

At one point the project had to be scaled back after vital funds fell through but college bosses quickly came up with a plan which would see the building designed and built for a third of the original £36m cost – and construction work finally got underway last August.

When it is complete, the eye-catching creative industries campus will replace the college’s outdated Longlands campus and will accommodate up to 1,000 art and design, textiles, fashion, graphics, illustration and digital media students.

It will be kitted out with recycled furniture and equipment and will feature an iconic glass frontage – through which passersby will be able to see student exhibitons.

John Mensforth, construction director at BAM Construction which is carrying out the work, said he had been “impressed with the ambition” shown by the college in bringing the project to fruition. He added: “We are pleased to have reached this important milestone. We now look forward to the project’s successful completion later this year.”

Tim Sunter, chairman of the Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership, described the building as “just fantastic”. He added: “The speed at which its risen out of the ground is a credit to everyone involved.”

‘Topping out’ ceremonies, marking the completion of a building’s structure, are thought to date back to Saxon times.

A yew branch is often also sited on the highest point of the building to ward away evil spirits.



Stourbridge College has proved that it’s cutting edge when it comes to creative industries and its designs on a new campus are on track for success with work about to begin on the Venture Way site.  The £12m investment in a new Centre in the heart of Brierley Hill is all set to contribute to the regeneration of the area and is the first phase in a rolling investment programme by one of the best performing colleges in the region. Continue reading COLLEGE VENTURE TAKES OFF

Work on Brierley Hill’s new college set to commence

Work on Stourbridge College’s new creative industries campus, set in the heart of Brierley Hill will be commencing on 23rd August.  The college will bring brand new arts and digital based courses to Brierley Hill and replace the outdated Longlands campus in Stourbridge.  Over 600 hundred students are expected to attend on a daily basis – bringing much needed business to the town centre.

Stourbridge College will use the Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership group as a communication vehicle to keep key stakeholders and the local community informed of the progress of their new college building in Brierley Hill. This will include providing regular agenda items, blog postings and emails over the next year.

If anyone has questions or requires further information at this stage they should contact Mags Winthrop, the College’s communications co-ordinator by email: or by calling 01384 344482 during working hours.

A representative from the College will also be in attendance at the Town Centre Partnership meeting in September.

College plans still on course

Plans for the Brierley Hill Campus of Stourbridge College remain on course despite the withdrawal of AWM support for the scheme.

The college has confirmed that the move from AWM was not unexpected in the light of the cuts in public sector spending and it had already moved to put contingency plans in space.

The £12 million building is due to open in September next year and will bring a variety of creative facilities to the town centre.

See the new plans for Brierley Hill Campus

Stourbridge College has revealed the plans for its new £11 million state of the art Creative Industries Centre in Brierley Hill.  At a presentation to Brierley Hill Civic Society, Vice Principal Andy Sylvester told the meeting that the Centre, due to open in September 2011 will bring 600 full time students to the heart of the town.  Courses offered will include: fine art, weaving, fashion design, sculpture, graphic design and 3D design. Continue reading See the new plans for Brierley Hill Campus

Applause for Stourbridge College Brierley Hill Campus

  Members of Brierley Hill Town Centre Partnership burst into applause at the conclusion of a presentation by Elaine Giles, Vice Principal of Stourbridge College, on the latest proposal to build a campus in the centre of Brierley Hill.

 The scheme had appeared to have hit the rocks last year fiasco a national funding fiasco from the Learning and Skills Council.

 However, dogged determination by the Stourbridge College team has meant that a proposal to build phase one of the scheme has been resurrected.

 Chairman of Brierley Hill Town Centre Traders and vice chairman of the Partnership Shane Birch-Bastock commented:

 “This scheme is hugely important for the economic future of Brierley Hill.

 “It will bring a thousand students to the town centre every day – that has to be good for local traders.

 “The new educational facilities will also help to regenerate the area by driving up achievement amongst younger people and the partnership were very impressed with the quality of the design”.

 The Partnership unanimously agreed to write a letter of support to the Dudley planners when the detailed plan for the facility is submitted in March.

 Stourbridge College, which is also investing in its Hagley Road, Stourbridge, site, aims to have the centre ready for use by September 2011.