Cleveland College of Art & Design

Strengthening the relationship between space needs and quality of academic provision

CPB Projects were engaged to advise on the benchmarking of spatial efficiency improvements, to underpin future growth and related capital investment plans at Cleveland College of Art & Design.

The college’s recent planning had been focused on addressing its property needs in the aftermath of the difficulties in the national “Building Colleges for the Future” capital programme.

This assignment built on the original property strategy, briefing project and feasibility study previously completed in conjunction with Turner Townsend Project Management. The project team also drew input from Rider Levett Bucknall and Storeys:SSP.


  • Cleveland College of Art and Design is a unique organisation in the north of England and one of only four specialist art and design colleges in the FE sector
  • With a portfolio of FE and HE courses and an unassailable reputation for the quality of its provision, the college embarked on its property strategy development at the height of the “Building Colleges for the Future” capital programme
  • The college identified the rationalisation of its FE and HE accommodation (split over three sites in Middlesbrough and Hartlepool) as a critical success factor in bringing the overall estate up to a quality which was both commensurate with its reputation for quality and which would provide a competitive foundation for future growth

  • We worked closely with the senior team to develop the educational case and to plan future space requirements, to accommodate the nuances of different disciplines in this, the broad realm of art & design education
  • We evaluated, in conjunction with Storeys:SSP, potential sites for relocation, option appraisal and possible acquisition
  • We developed, in conjunction with Tees Valley Regeneration (and its masterplan advisers, Studio Egret West), the design brief for the preferred option in the context of a wider area master plan
  • Based on our extensive experience and research in academic space planning, we modelled a series of growth scenarios and consolidation options
  • Drawing on a deep knowledge of the HE sector, the team was able to advise the college on both space planning issues for its higher education offer and on differentiation between FE and HE space requirements.

  • Detailed site analysis, option appraisal and feasibility study, which reflected the education agenda of the college and provided a robust basis for future discussions with the Learning and Skills Council
  • Fully developed education case and evaluation of space usage, which engaged a wide spectrum of staff in the briefing process and strengthened understanding of the relationship between the use of space and the quality of academic provision
  • Inclusive design brief integrating the college’s requirements with the strong aspirations for a high quality design solution and built considerable support for the college’s scheme among key local stakeholders, including the local council and the Tees Valley Regeneration Company
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