Blackburn College marks 125th anniversary

Business leaders from across the region came together to celebrate 125 years of Blackburn College.

[caption id="attachment_23924" align="f-align-medium-right f-align-center" width="200"]Blackburn College principal Ian Clinton Blackburn College principal Ian Clinton[/caption]

Visiting dignitaries, including Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, and Ann Jordan, the High Sheriff of Lancashire, paid tribute to the role the college has played in helping to shape the economic landscape in East Lancashire.

Formed in 1888, at the height of the industrial revolution, Blackburn Technical College - as it was then known - was created to provide people in Blackburn and the surrounding areas with skills and education.

At the time it was one of only a dozen colleges in the country. Now more than a century on, it's one of the largest colleges with a University centre in the UK.

College principal Ian Clinton said: “We have served the community and businesses successfully for 125 years and hopefully we will be here for at least another 125 years.

“We were one of the first colleges established in the North West, and one of the first dozen or so in the country, so we have played an important part in shaping the economic landscape in East Lancashire, and we will continue to do so going forwards.”

Blackburn College 125 2

Acting chair of governors, Phil Watson, added: “The college started in 1888 to give the population, at the height of the industrial revolution, skills and education. The principles remain the same but there has been an incredible change around the college and more will come with the STEM building, the new automotive building, and the sports centre.

“The quality and the teaching makes me proud, shown by the outstanding Ofsted report and the thriving university building. We are looking back but we are also looking forward. You can’t get complacent.” The College has invested more than £50m in state-of-the-art facilities in recent years, including the addition of a University Centre, and is now the largest further education college in Pennine Lancashire, providing employment focused vocational courses, apprenticeships, A Levels, degrees and professional qualifications to 15,000 students and more than 1,000 employers.