College group unveils new identity following merger

Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College have a fresh identity after the recently-combined institutions rolled out an exciting new brand.

Following a successful merger between the colleges in November 2018, the newly-formed Nelson and Colne College Group required an umbrella brand, and Accrington and Rossendale College’s new-look logo has brought its identity in line with the Nelson and Colne College suite.

The launch of the new brand comes as £4m is being invested into the Accrington and Rossendale College campus. The college’s Broad Oak Building has already had a contemporary makeover with furniture, IT equipment, wall art and the creation of improved study zones which has transformed the environment. Phase two of the plans will be finished shortly – a remodelled Refectory for students as well as brand new Hair and Beauty salons in Heartwood Building.

Phase three of the plans turn to an overhaul of the Hameldon Building, which houses the College’s acclaimed Construction department, and significant landscaping of the site, to improve accessibility and enhance the campus which is known for its green surroundings.

A key aspect of Accrington and Rossendale College’s repositioning as the new College Group’s Technology and Skills Centre for the 16-18-year-old market is because of its long history of expertise and delivery of professional and technical skills, while Nelson and Colne College retains its placing in the Group as a Sixth Form due to its beacon status for teaching and learning excellence.

Rossendale-based agency Studio Up North was entrusted with the branding process for its strong track-record of rebranding established companies nationwide.

A major theme of the branding is creating the extraordinary, which takes its influence from the proud history of both colleges for outstanding academic results, producing and developing talented young people and upskilling the workforce of East Lancashire. The ampersand also returns to the Nelson and Colne College brand after an absence of a decade to signify the link-up with Accrington and Rossendale College.

Principal and chief executive of the Nelson and Colne College Group, Amanda Melton, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the outcome and we believe the team at Studio Up North have done a fantastic job rebranding our complex College organisation with a distinguished mark that has a really high quality and prestigious feel.

“We wanted the new overarching Group brand and Accrington and Rossendale College’s identity to be linked to the existing Nelson and Colne College brand to ensure a clear connection across the Group to our long history of outstanding teaching and results and strong national reputation.

“So it was a case of evolving and not transforming our existing brand, while maintaining the Accrington and Rossendale College name because of its positive geographic and historic connections, balancing our well-established Lancashire Adult Learning brand and tweaking the identities of our Professional Skills and University Centres as well as our renowned Apprenticeship offer.

“Colleges are at the heart of their communities, and our terrific new brand is created by the community for the community. We can now move forward as one college to do what we do best which is creating the extraordinary.”

Jamie Kelly, director of Studio Up North, said: “As a Rossendale man who had his first studio opposite the College in Accrington, and whose wife learned her trade at Accrington and Rossendale College, it has been a privilege to develop the Group’s new brand post the successful merger with Nelson and Colne College.

“Education was a new area for us, and we are an agency that has worked on projects for both private and public sectors, ranging from IT and technology, manufacturing, food and drink, outdoor leisure, logistics and architecture.

“We like to work collaboratively, and so working with an esteemed name such as Nelson and Colne College which is well-known for its outward-facing approach seemed like a good fit – and so it has proved.

“The process has been excellent and we have really relished the challenge. I am delighted with the end result, and I’m excited to see how the brand develops and evolves going forward.”

Nelson and Colne College is the number one college in the country for 16-18 learner achievement and 16-18 Apprenticeship achievement, according to latest Government data, which also places Accrington and Rossendale College in the top 10 colleges in the country for 16-18 Apprenticeship achievement and 16-18 learner achievement at Level 3.

For more information about courses at Nelson and Colne College and Accrington and Rossendale College, contact the Admissions Team on 01282 440272. Alternatively, visit www.nelson.ac.uk or www.accross.ac.uk.