Estates Strategy

What is an Estates Strategy?

We believe that in the education sector an Estates Strategy should provide a long term plan to guide the future development of the estate in a way that best meets the curriculum goals and ambitions of the school, College or University in a way that is both affordable and deliverable. 

What difference can an Estates Strategy make?

Education Strategies are often required to support large scale new building projects. Having an up to date strategy is often a pre-requisite of LEP funding and helps to show how the capital project fits in with the wider skills, educational and financial case of the project.

Sometimes we write Estates Strategies for Colleges or Universities in financial strain where we are looking to reduce operating costs, release funds from the surplus estate and identify how to invest in the retained estates in a sustainable and affordable way.

A good Estates Strategy can help any education body make the most of its assets in support of its education vision and from our experience we often find options to re-purpose or remodel existing buildings in a way that transforms the learning environment without the cost, risk or timescales involved in delivering major new build projects.

How we work with clients to create an estates strategy

As a team of educationalists, space planners, project managers, cost consultants, designers and chartered accountants we know full well that building a long terms strategy involves putting together all of the pieces of the jigsaw in a way that reflects the unique position and vision of each client that we work with.

As part of our work on an Estates Strategy we review and analyse:

  • Education Vision and Mission
  • Historic Development of the Estate
  • Space Requirements
  • Condition & Functionality
  • Local planning policies

We then develop a range of potential future options – from ‘do nothing’ through to complete estate replacement. We agree a set of evaluation criteria and weighting’s of these to allow us to assess each option. We then complete outline cost estimates and/or options for site disposal, and then, develop a programme for the delivery of the preferred option.

Through conducting a condition and functionality analysis we gain a holistic and detailed picture of the appropriateness of the estate to helping to deliver the educational mission and meet the needs of staff and learners.

Hand in hand with consultation with curriculum leaders we assess current and planned student numbers to build a comprehensive space brief. By reviewing the curriculum offer, understanding the external environment and context and taking into account scope for potential future growth; we are able to develop recommendations and plans for the future, considering options for the rationalisation and right-sizing of the estate.

We complete this work with a keen focus on achieving the organisations educational objectives sometimes as a stand-alone exercise to improve estate efficiency and reduce operational costs, or to support bids for funding, and plans for merge or, in some cases, to generate income to support the financial health of the organisation.

Educational organisations to which we have, or are currently working to develop Estates Strategies include:

  • Bath College
  • Birmingham Metropolitan College
  • Buckinghamshire College Group
  • Capital City Colleges Group
  • Eastleigh College and City College Southampton
  • Fareham College Southampton Solent University
  • The Guernsey Institute
  • Hadlow College
  • Hadlow, West Kent & Ashford Colleges
  • The Henley College 
  • Havant South Downs College
  • Lambeth College
  • London South Bank University
  • London South East Colleges
  • Lincoln College
  • The Loddon School
  • Midkent College
  • Moulton College
  • RNN Group
  • Runshaw College
  • Shrewsbury Colleges Group
  • South Thames Colleges Group
  • South Staffordshire College
  • Solent University
  • St Vincent College
  • University of Chichester


A sample of our recent Estates Strategy work can be viewed in more detail on one of the project pages below:

Estates Strategy Documents

Bath College

Birmingham Metropolitan College

Buckinghamshire College Group

Eastleigh College and City College Southampton

Hadlow College

Hadlow, West Kent & Ashford Colleges

Midkent College

Moulton College

RNN Group 

Runshaw College

Solent University

Shrewsbury Colleges Group 

Southampton Solent University

St Vincent College

South Staffordshire College

South Thames Colleges  Group

University of Chichester

"I have now had chance to review the draft South Staffordshire College Estates Strategy document and have to say it is an excellent piece of work. Thank you to you and your team for all of your efforts and for fitting around our timescales."
Claire Boliver
Principal and Chief Executive Officer - South Staffordshire College
January 2020
"I would highly recommend Peter, Robert and their team to other colleges in the sector - they will exceed your expectations and add so much more value than you expect as a result of their unique combined experience, knowledge and passion for FE Colleges."
Dr Sam Parrett OBE
Group Principal and CEO - Group Principal and CEO
"The process of engagement and working with Peter and his team was inspiring and enjoyable in equal quantities. They approached the brief with energy and enthusiasm and we quickly realised they were passionate about their work and shared our ambitions for our estate. They fully understand the challenges and constraints associated with the FE Estate - in discussing utilisation issues, operational management constraints, our desire to create outstanding learning spaces for teaching and learning and how to develop and maximise the rebuilding options we always felt they were operating as our ‘in house’ experts."
Dr Sam Parrett OBE
London and South East Education Group
"We established a strong professional relationship with the company and whilst we were subject to considerable challenge and robust discussion around the utilisation of buildings and our future requirements - as we explored the options with them we always felt that they were solution focussed and made an extremely positive contribution to our thinking about teaching and learning spaces and our future plans and possibilities."
Dr Sam Parrett OBE
Group Principal and CEO - London and South East Education Group
“Peter and the team worked with us to develop a long-term estates strategy for the college and to complete business cases and bids for two rounds of capital funding. The team were a joy to work with from start to finish. They very quickly grasped the distinctive culture and values of our organisation, and reflected this throughout the documentation and in all interactions. They managed to complete a vast amount of in-depth research in a very short timeframe, including establishing the condition and utilisation of all aspects of our multi-building and multi-site estate. They presented a range of creative options to us; challenging our thinking and helping us to see the potential in our current and proposed buildings. Having established our preferred options, they then completed high-quality bids, fully aligned to the funding body guidance and the deliverables required. Whether or not the bids are successful, I am proud to say that we now have a comprehensive Estates Strategy that will guide the future development of the estate to support our curriculum vision and strategy.”
Clare Russell
Principal & CEO, Runshaw College
July 2021