Our News

20 March 2013

Cardiff and Vale College announce site for landmark £45m city centre campus

Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) has announced that the site for its brand new, state of the art city centre building will be on Canal Parade in the heart of the Welsh capital.

The development is being supported by the Welsh Government with a £20m grant for the build of the landmark new site, situated within the Financial Enterprise Zone, which will provide an inspirational, world class learning facility for the capital region.

When construction begins, the new campus will at £45m be the largest construction project in Cardiff. The site will be developed by Rightacres Property Co who are responsible for some of the most iconic developments across the region.

Work is due to start in Summer 2013 with completion set for the Summer 2015. Students will then start their courses in the new building in the Autumn of 2015.

The project is part of a proposed wider and extensive capital investment plan the College has to transform learning across Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, providing world class facilities for education and training across the capital region.

CAVC Canal Parade will provide state of the art facilities for education and training, and a host of opportunities for employers and communities in the region. The building will bring together many of the College’s activities into one building in the heart of Cardiff city centre, close to bus and rail links.

The 16,000 m2 building will feature a diverse range of top class facilities including a rooftop fine dining restaurant with views across the city; dedicated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Centre; state-of-the-art gymnasium; luxurious hairdressing and beauty salons; including a spa with zen garden and  unique conference facilities with flexible indoor and outdoor spaces. The building, to be open 7 days a week, is designed to encourage the community and general public in with open welcoming spaces. A central mall will run through the core of the College, including an employment centre and a range of shops and services available to all.

The distinctive wedge shape building will house a range of interior spaces connected to south-facing terraces with views towards Cardiff Bay. The northernmost tip will feature a fine dining training restaurant that looks out across the city towards the Millennium Stadium, showcasing the city. Architects BDP, who are providing architecture design, interior design and landscape architecture design on the project said the innovative build "will bring the best of the World to Wales".


The entire building is designed with a focus on sustainability. A key feature of this is a 1,850m2 photovoltaic array built into the oversailing angled roof that will provide a sustainable energy source for the site.

The developers Rightacres Property Co. have created some of the most significant commercial buildings in Wales. Through their skill, vision and innovation, the company has attracted some of the country's highest profile clients, including Lloyds TSB, The AA, Tesco Plc and British Gas plc. Many of Cardiff Bay’s most iconic and recognisable buildings have been the work of Rightacres and this development looks set to be one of the most innovative yet.

The Canal Parade site will not just be a College building, but also a valuable new facility for the local community and employers in the area. The College pledges to work with individuals, employers and the community to complement the existing community facilities with much needed spaces and services.

The location is just 450 meters or a five minute walk from Cardiff central train and bus stations, providing excellent transport connections for individuals and businesses across the region and beyond. The site is also situated within Cardiff’s financial and professional services enterprise zone, ensuring CAVC will be centre place in supporting business in the capital.

While the new building will see some courses from other sites transferred to it, the College sees itself at the heart of the Cardiff and Vale communities and will continue to be based in and work across both Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, meeting the needs of learners and employers right across the Capital Region.

Minister for Education and Skills, Leighton Andrews said: “If we’re to prepare young people for employment or higher education then we need colleges that offer world class 21st century buildings and facilities.

“The £20 million that we are providing towards the cost of CAVC Canal Parade will help transform the delivery of further education and training across Cardiff and the Vale.

“When completed, this impressive new building will become a focal point for learners, employers and communities, helping to drive forward economic activity within the region.

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert said: "This is excellent news for our learners, the economy and the wider community across the Cardiff and Vale region, and underlines our commitment to the educational estate across Wales.

“CAVC Canal Parade will offer world-class facilities for our learners, ensuring they can access the kind of education and training they need to be successful in the jobs market.

“This new building really is a collaborative project, bringing together learners, businesses and communities to deliver for the people of Cardiff and the Vale.

“I look forward to seeing how the site takes shape over the coming years.”

Mike James, Principal and Chief Executive of Cardiff and Vale College said: “When Cardiff and Vale College was created, a vision was set out to transform learning across the capital region of Wales. As part of this, the College produced a ten-year capital development programme to create sector-leading learning environments for the community throughout Cardiff and the Vale. Over the next decade, this ambitious and exciting proposed plan will see us working with partners, securing funding and developing centres for learning that are second to none.

“Our new city centre campus is a significant first part of this. We are very appreciative of the support from the Welsh Government for this build and for our vision for the future of education and training across Cardiff and the Vale. We are excited to be working with Rightacres Property Co. to develop this groundbreaking build which we believe will engage and inspire individuals, employers and communities across the region.”

Paul Mccarthy, Chief Executive of Rightacres said: “This is an exciting and challenging project – exciting for us to be involved in influencing the design and shape of the College’s new learning environment and a challenge to strike the right balance between embracing the digital learning future and holding on to the things that work well today. We very much look forward to working with the College and its team to deliver their vison.”

Geraint Evans, Chair of Cardiff and Vale College’s Board of Governors said: “CAVC is grateful to the Welsh Government for its recognition that the College needs to expand to provide the best possible opportunities. The commitment for this brand new site, to create a landmark building of stunning architectural quality, highlights the positive effects of devolution on the Welsh Education sector and the Welsh Government’s Transformation Agenda in particular.

“The College understands its pivotal role for individuals, communities, employers and the economy of the region. We look forward to continuing to progress our capital development programme expanding and upgrading facilities in Cardiff and the Vale.”

Subject to planning permission, development of the Canal Parade site is set to start in Summer 2013. During the build process CAVC will provide lots of opportunities to raise awareness of what it has planned for the people of the capital region. This will include site visits for individuals, community groups and employers, a touring roadshow, and a dedicated area of the College’s website where people can watch progress on the building and access the most up-to-date information online.