Lakes College West Cumbria


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The Independent Online

History: Based in Park Lane Workington from 1916 until 2001, when it moved to a brand new purpose-built £11m campus at Lillyhall Business Park.

Address: The Lillyhall campus is located on Hallwood Road, just outside Workington.

Ambience: The school's site is modern, although settled in a picturesque area of the country, with beautiful views of the fells.

Who's the boss? Keen sportsman Chris Nattress takes over from local girl Cath Richardson as principal from September 2013.

Prospectus: 01946 839 300, view it online here and follow @lakescollege.

UCAS code: L05

What you need to know

Easy to get into? The general minimum entry requirement will be one A-Level or 6-unit GNVQ, or equivalent qualifications. Relevant industrial experience is also acceptable.

Foundation Degrees: Business management, computing, engineering, health and social care, integrated education and care of children and young people, nuclear commissioning, and teaching and learning.

Vital statistics: The college currently has over 3,000 students, with around 1,500 of these being full-time. It is the only institution in the country to offer a foundation degree in nuclear decommissioning, in association with the University of Central Lancashire.

Added value: Well-equipped learning resource centre with broadband internet access and more than 25,000 books. The purpose-built construction department is just round the corner from the main site. Over the years, Lakes College has built up strong links with industry, providing training for employees of major companies in the area, including Sellafield, Alcan, the Cumbria Tourist Board and the local Primary Healthcare Trust. HE qualifications are offered in conjunction with the University of Lancashire, the University of Central Lancashire and the University of Cumbria. Home to a training restaurant that is often fully-booked out.

Teaching: The college was graded as good in the latest Ofsted inspection, and was deemed to be outstanding in 10 out of 23 areas.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college.

Cheap to live there? Yes - the average is just £50 per week for a room in a shared house.

Transport links: Lakes College main campus is at Lillyhall on the junction of the A595 and the A597. There is good road access and plenty of free parking, and direct buses stop right outside the front door from Workington, Whitehaven, Egremont, Maryport and Cockermouth. Cyclists can use cycle paths to get to college and there are plenty of bike racks when you do arrive. The nearest train station is Harrington, two miles away.

Fees: £5,900 per year for full-time foundation degrees and £3,400 per year for HNDs.

Bursaries: Financial support is available for those who need it most, with scholarships of £3,000 a year on offer. See here for further information.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: There are numerous bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Whitehaven, Workington and Cockermouth.

Sporting facilities: There's a gym, a sports hall and various outdoor sporting facilities for use by Lakes students.