Comprising Hadlow College, West Kent and Ashford College, Betteshanger Sustainable Parks, Hadlow Rural Community School, Hadlow Community Pre-School and the Rosemary Shrager Cookery School, the Hadlow Group is an innovative £50m fully-commercial educational group, with an emphasis on educational excellence linked to sustainable business practices. The Group employs 1,400 staff and its colleges accommodate 10,000 students, with 900 higher education students.
Its two Further Education colleges offer qualifications and training – including undergraduate degrees and apprenticeships – in a wide array of subjects, whilst at the same time operating commercial enterprises such as a garden centre, hair salon, farm shop and restaurant. Through Hadlow College, one of Britain’s leading land-based colleges, rated Ofsted ‘Outstanding’, the Group is heavily involved with the county’s rural community, being a major sponsor of the Kent County Show and co-partner in Produced in Kent.
The Grouphas also invested £26 million in a new 7,135m² Ashford College campus that opened in September 2017, which accommodates over 1,000 students. The new campus is set to boost education and skills provision in the area, having a direct impact on the long-term success of the local economy, with courses designed to recognise the needs of the local business community.
In addition, the Group’s £30m Betteshanger Sustainable Parks project is set to open a new Visitor Centre and Kent Mining Museum in 2019. Located on the site of the former Betteshanger colliery, the scheme will drive regeneration of the site and the area, combining sustainable business and commerce, education, sustainable energy and tourism.
The Hadlow Group was named Top Public Sector Company at the national Institute for Turnaround Awards 2016, for the successful and sustainable turnaround and transformation of a public sector organisation, executed with transparency and integrity.