The future of the building
In October 2014 Sandwell College 6th form opened bringing a new direction for the building.
On 19th December 2013, the College and Council signed a Concordat setting out what will be delivered from the building.
They have agreed that:
(a) the Authority and the College will work in partnership to develop a wide
ranging educational offering comprising:
(i) a sixth form centre offering an extensive arts-based curriculum for students aged between 16 and 18 including A Levels to be delivered by the College; and
(ii) a centre for life long learning in respect of the arts, offering a range of learning activities for all ages and evening and weekends to be primarily delivered by the Authority’s adult and family learning service (to be offered 2014-17);
(b) the operation by Sandwell College of a “Young Enterprise Centre” which
will incorporate a business incubation unit and a peer mentoring and business support network for 18 to 35 year olds (to be offered 2014-18); (c) the provision of a range of community and arts-based activities accessible
to the general public; and
(d) the operation by the Authority and Sandwell College of a regional and
national visitor attraction for the arts including, but not limited to:
(i) supporting the Sandwell Arts Festival (students’ work);
(ii) co-ordinating and hosting a “One World” event promoting and celebrating cultural diversity;
(iii) operation of an ‘arts café’ with a programme of events;
(iv) hosting of summer shows (of students’ work); and
(v) provision of exhibition space for new entrants to creative inductries.
The Council will pay the College £200,000 per year 2014-19 as part of the partnership and then £100,000 per year 2019-24.
At the opening Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Darren Cooper, said: "It is great to see Central Sixth open. Our partnership has given the building a long-term financially viable future and we're excited for the future.
"We'll continue to use the building to offer opportunities to residents, to the arts and to businesses - but most importantly the building will now be providing excellent educational opportunities for our young people."
Sandwell College Principal Graham Pennington said: "This is not just a partnership with the council, but a partnership with the whole community."
"Our curriculum areas will also be running events and exhibitions throughout the year to enhance the vibrant offering of the Arts Café."
"We can all look forward to a packed and entertaining calendar of engaging events and activities for everyone to enjoy."
It is good that the Council will continue to fund arts activities and that the building will continue to play a central role in the life of West Bromwich, focussed on education but also keeping the benefits and excitement of the arts.
For more information on the arts, community and education provision in the building:
In loving memory of The Public