The Mail has been a regular visitor to Furness College at Barrow over the years to report on its activities.

In October 2000, staff and students were looking forward to moving into a new £4.5 million purpose-built campus on one site.

Soon the students would attend the Channelside site, instead of hiking through the streets of Barrow between three different college buildings spread across the town.

The Mail reported that the old halls of the John Whinnerah Institute in Abbey Road had been sold to a developer and the main Howard Street building was up for sale.

The Mail:

Acting principal Cliff Brown said: “This college has actually been designed for the community. We have to provide very high standards for engineering and catering. We will be at the forefront of education.”

The Mail report stated that the new college building, with its views of Walney Channel, the bridge between Barrow and Walney and Devonshire Dock Hall, looked like an impressive conference facility, with its attractive coloured bricks and sophisticated large glass frontage.

The Mail:

Mr Brown said: “Moving on to one site has been a long-term aim of the college. I think we can provide a superb facility for students and this community.

“Clearly our mission at the college is to promote lifelong learning and provide for the needs of the community for vocational education.”

The report highlighted that all students would have internet access with a new dedicated computer suite housing more than 40 multimedia work-stations.

The Mail:

It said the building at Channelside housed a large café and restaurant, while ‘the attention to detail in the hair and beauty department could not be beaten’.

Allenbuild delivered the building project on time and within budget. Managing director of its North West office Jeff Sawyer said: “The new, extended facilities form an important part in the future development of the college.

The Mail:

“As we enter the 21st century, the college recognises the need to update and extend the educational facilities on offer to local students – a need which is being fulfilled by the new resource centre and workshop extension.”

In August 2016, Furness College merged successfully with Barrow Sixth Form College.

It is now situated over two campuses: the Channelside Campus with its outstanding vocational facilities, and the Sixth Form Campus on Rating Lane where the A level offer is delivered.