Press Release

Press release from Bracknell & Wokingham College – December 2013:

The sale of Woodley Hill House

Bracknell & Wokingham College’s strategic plan for 2011–15 commits the college to seek to provide the best environment to facilitate learning, now, and in the future, for all its students. Woodley Hill House Centre in Earley has, for some years, been expensive to maintain and is increasingly unfit for the college’s future purposes. Therefore it is selling this building as part of a staged move into new accommodation more suitable for the educational and skills needs of the people of the area in the 21st century.

Who is buying Woodley Hill House?

Network Vineyard Church* (NVC) wishes to purchase Woodley Hill House and is able to allow the college to continue using the building for courses programmed for the rest of the 2013/14 academic year1. Initially NVC will only be using part of the building, for administration staff and for small evening and weekend workshops. However, in the future it plans to upgrade and eventually extend the facilities in order to continue its positive work in the community.

Where we will go?

Bracknell & Wokingham College is actively searching for premises in the Wokingham area and aims to have a new college facility in place in which to hold next year’s courses from September 2014. However the college will still be able to stay at Woodley Hill House should these plans be delayed.

The college already runs courses in several community-based centres across the area and for many years local people have studied subjects as diverse as Emergency First Aid, Ceramics, Languages and Creative Writing at locations in their communities2. This will continue. Ideally the college requires an easily accessible, flexible, modern space in which it can offer classroom-taught subjects alongside the more practical and creative skills.

What will happen for the rest of 2013/14?

The sale of Woodley Hill House to NVC has been completed but students will not notice any difference in the delivery of their courses this year. Staff at the centre will continue in roles at the college both during the handover of the building to Network Vineyard Church and subsequently when the college establishes itself in new premises. The college will continue to deliver its current courses whilst looking to develop provision for our local community to enhance their skills for work, for life and for leisure.

College Principal and Chief Executive, Campbell Christie, said:
“We are Bracknell & Wokingham College – we have fantastic state-of-the-art facilities at our Bracknell headquarters building and the move from Woodley Hill House is part of our plan to provide the same high level of facilities for our students in the Wokingham area. We are pleased to partner with Network Vineyard Church to ensure a smooth handover of the building. Our students will notice no change in their learning experience this year – they will engage in the same excellent level of education in the same venue – but we aim to be in new accommodation from the start of the new academic year in September 2014.”

Network Vineyard Church Senior Pastor, Rob Gardiner, said
“Network Vineyard Church has played an active part in the life of Reading – and more recently, Bracknell – since we were founded nearly twenty years ago. As we have grown over that time, we have rented a succession of school and sports venues. We know that having a permanent base in the community will give us the ability to do so much more in showing the love and power of Jesus Christ – an administrative office for the church, a training centre for both church members and members of the public and a hub to reach out to and engage our community. We are delighted to be taking stewardship of Woodley Hill House and to all the exciting opportunities it will open up.”

Notes to Editors
*You can find more information here about Network Vineyard Church: http://www.networkvineyard.org.uk/
Press contact at Network Vineyard Church: Rob Gardiner, Senior Pastor rob@networkvineyard.org.uk

1 The college offers courses in a variety of subjects at Woodley Hill House:
Art; Ceramics and Sculpture; Computing and IT; Counselling and Personal Development; Floristry; Gardening; First Aid and Food Hygiene; General Interest; Complementary Therapies; Languages; Navigation/Sailing; Photography.

2 Centres we use in the Wokingham/Reading area are:
California Ratepayers Hall
The Cornerstone Centre
Crescent Resource Centre Earley;
St Peter’s Church Hall
The Emmbrook School
The Holt School
Keep Hatch Primary School
Loddon Hall
Radstock Lane Community Centre
South Lake Primary School
St Sebastian’s Memorial Hall
Waingels Adult Centre
Wokingham Youth Centre