North Hertfordshire College (NHC) has announced today that it has received a resolution to grant planning permission to invest £12 million in new sports and teaching facilities for student and community use.

The investment will enable the College to develop a brand new, state-of-the-art sports hall and gym, a new 3G football pitch and sports science teaching facilities.

New sports facilities

NHC has partnered with CALA Homes (North Home Counties) to fund the development through the sale of a portion of land at the Hitchin campus.  CALA will create 116 new homes on the site, including areas of public open space.

The new facilities will enable the College to be at the forefront of sports science teaching in Hertfordshire and meet the increasing need for higher qualifications in STEM / technology-related roles. The facility will make a significant contribution to the local health agenda and provide significantly enhanced opportunities for increasing access to higher level qualifications and positive progression for students.

Included within this development is investment in wider community facilities including

  • A new 3G pitch and two new grass pitches at The Priory School.
  • Over £1.3m investment in local primary and secondary schools and childcare services
  • Over £25,000 investment in library and youth services.
  • Over £600,000 investment in sustainable transport including cycling provision, footpath and road junction improvements, Hitchin Railway Station improvement scheme contribution and enhanced public transport information.

The new outdoor facilities will support the growing and unmet demand for grassroots and youth football alongside the modern sports facility, which will widen access for local sports users including badminton, basketball, Tae-kwondo and studio-based fitness activities.

Kit Davies, Principal of North Hertfordshire College, said:

“This is fantastic news for our current and future students and the local community. Some of our sports facilities date back nearly 50 years and are in a dire state.


“These brand-new facilities along with the new 3G and grass pitches at The Priory School will not only catapult us to the forefront of sports science teaching but will also boost the availability of sport and wellbeing activities for the whole community.


“NHC has been at the heart of Hitchin life since 1965. This development will ensure that the college remains an essential part of the community for many years to come.”

New homes

The new CALA development will include a range of one and two bedroom apartments and two, three and four-bedroom houses. 15 per cent of homes will be affordable to meet local housing need, including those offered for shared equity and rent. Homes have been designed around informal green open space and high quality landscaping and the development will include a children’s play area.

Neil Farnsworth, Senior Planning Manager at CALA Homes (North Home Counties), said:

“We are delighted to have received a resolution to grant planning permission from the council and are now looking forward to starting work on a site that will not only provide much-needed homes in the local area but will also enable state-of-the art college facilities that will benefit the whole community.


“This development represents an ongoing investment by CALA in the local area, and comes on the back of a number of successful sites including our current Comice Meadows development in Pirton and recently completed sites in Hitchin and Rabley Heath.”

It is anticipated that construction will begin in the new year with the new sports facilities opening next academic year during the Autumn term.

Notes to editors

  • North Hertfordshire College is an occupationally-focussed further education college with campuses in Stevenage and Hitchin.  It delivers full and part-time programmes for around 9,000 students a year to meet the current and future demands of the local economy across several sectors: business and financial services; the creative industries; engineering and construction; health and social care; technology; sport and leisure; and, hospitality and catering. We also deliver programmes for students who need additional support to complete their studies.
  • In their November 2017 inspection report, Ofsted judged NHC to be ‘Good’ with its supported studies and traineeship employability programmes rated Outstanding.
  • The college is the best in Hertfordshire for overall achievement rates, the 2 best in the east of England and in the top 25% in the country.
  • NHC also ranks fifth best in the country and first in Hertfordshire for overall student satisfaction, according to an annual Government commissioned survey of all FE learners.

For more information, please visit or contact: Fiona Cookson, Director of Communications 01462 443058

CALA Homes

  • CALA Homes, part of the CALA Group, is a major UK home builder focused on building well-designed, high quality homes in prime locations throughout the South of England, the Midlands and Scotland.

Key Facts:

  • CALA employs more than 1,000 people across 10 offices and more than 70 developments
  • CALA Homes has received the maximum 5 Star rating in the Home Builders Federation’s National New Homes Customer Satisfaction Survey for 2019. On average over the past 10 years, the independent survey has found that more than 93% of our customers would recommend CALA to a friend.
  • In 2017, and for the second consecutive year, CALA has collected the Silver award for ‘Best Large Housebuilder’ at the WhatHouse? Awards. At the 2018 Scottish Home Awards, CALA received the Customer Service Excellence Award for the third year running. In 2019, CALA was named Home Builder of the Year at the Homes for Scotland Awards.
  • CALA is proud to be a Gold Patron of the Prince’s Trust, our national charity partner since 2015.
  • In March 2018, CALA Group was acquired by Legal & General Group, the insurance, savings and investment management company.
  • CALA started as the City of Aberdeen Land Association in 1875 and was the first Scottish company listed on the London Stock Market. As CALA is an acronym it is always reproduced in upper case.

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