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The Grand Opening – Mayor of Bolton officially opens The Sixth Form’s new extension

Date Posted: 14/10/2021 | Posted In: General News, Student News

Grand opening festivities took place at The Sixth Form Bolton on Saturday, 9 October. Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas and Consort Mr. Thomas cut the purple ribbon, accompanied by Cllr Martyn Cox and Chris Green, MP for Bolton West and Atherton, officially opening the multi-million-pound extension. The ceremony also coincided with The Sixth Form’s first open day of the academic year, this was also the first open event taking place face to face since the start of the pandemic.

The extension was built over the course of the last two years to accommodate growing numbers of students, following an increase in demand for places. The new extension will enhance the teaching and learning experience at The Sixth Form and will provide students with more social space, an additional restaurant – the B6 Bistro, a multi-purpose fitness suite for sport and physical education, specialist study areas as well as additional classrooms to accommodate the increasing demand for places.

Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Linda Thomas said: “I’m thrilled to be here on such a lovely day, speaking with these pupils has been fantastic and I’m sure this extension will be a wonderful addition to the college.”

Cllr Martyn Cox, Leader of Bolton Council, said: “I think the success of this college is down to the atmosphere of stability that they have fostered here and I hope that the ethos that has worked so well carries on throughout the years. It’s a bit surreal for me to be here but I’m just thrilled that this has been done, because it is exactly what the young people of Bolton need.”

Mr Green said: “Well, I’m delighted to be here at the opening of the extension, and being able to talk to students. I’m so happy to hear that all the students seem so pleased with it and I like to see that they are back, learning and being with friends and enjoying a sense of normality again.”

Principal Stuart Merrills added: “I’m exceedingly proud to be Principal and we’re so delighted to have the Mayor and Leader of the Council here with us. This has been over two years in the making and it feels like a Greek Odyssey, in which the heroes overcome insurmountable challenges to achieve their goals and that’s what we’ve done.”

Several key people were thanked for their contribution to the project:

  • Lesley Hart – Deputy Principal, The Sixth Form
  • Jon Evans – Head of IT & Estates, The Sixth Form
  • Alan Simpson – 10Architect  
  • Jonathan Felce – Barclays Bank
  • Tim Davies – Waterman Group
  • Chris Murphy – WML Consulting
  • AA Projects 
  • Daniel Carr – Senior Site Manager, Seddon Construction
  • Carl Hosker – University of Bolton
  • Bolton Fire and Rescue Service

The icing on the cake comes in the form of brand transformation at The Sixth Form, which has taken place over the last 18 months. The rebrand project was managed by Gemma Webster, Head of Marketing & Admissions with Chris Kniveton and Chris Stryker from Nectar Creative who were appointed as the design agency.  


The Bolton News also featured several student ambassadors present who gave praise to the college for it’s unfailing support throughout the pandemic.

Daniel Morris-Broome, a first-year student studying Media Studies, Film Studies and Accounting, said: “So far, my time here has been amazing, the staff are lovely and friendly especially after the year we’ve had they’ve helped us through the difficult change from high school to sixth form. Everyone is different here, and no matter who you are you can be yourself and have your own identity.”

Kirsten Eccles, a first-year studying Criminology, Psychology and Law, added: “I also think the support from all the teachers has been great – I’d say that’s my favourite part about the college because they are all so understanding and kind.”

Second-year students also had a lot to say about the careers team and how they have helped students navigate the tricky decision process about universities and jobs after graduation. Mafina Assan Kojo, a second-year Physics, Maths and History student said: “There’s so much support and it’s a really friendly atmosphere. Here, there’s always someone to talk to, no matter what your problem is and it’s a nice place to be. The first thing I did here was have a careers meeting and, honestly, they were immensely helpful.” Karen Stockton, a Biology, Chemistry and Maths student later commented: “I think it’s great that we’ve got an extension but this college has already provided me with ample opportunities like career appointments and are committed to helping me find the university that fits me.”

Careers Team from left to right: Jill Whitham – Lead Careers Officer, Paul Fenner – Employability Officer, Emily Dover – Work Placement Officer


Staff were enthusiastic about the extension, built to accommodate the increasing number of students who want to study at the college and reverse the trend of 40 per cent of school leavers choosing to leave the borough to study A-levels and other qualifications. Click here for the link to the Bolton News coverage.


Take a look at the main Open Event in action:


Full gallery of images: