Retrofit for Landlords information evening

Landlords can find out about the benefits of retrofitting at an information evening at Harrogate College.

Retrofit for Landlords, which is being held in partnership with Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition, takes place from 6pm to 7.30pm on Wednesday 2 November.

Designed to explain how ‘eco-refurbishment’ of properties can improve efficiency, cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions, the event will feature several presentations.

Guest speakers will include Sarah Stark from Harrogate Borough Council, who will be sharing details about a new council grant that can be used by landlords and answering questions about EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) regulations.

Shining a light on how to help the environment and the economy

Harrogate College Principal, Danny Wild, said: “We look forward to welcoming many landlords  to this event, where they can hear about the benefits of retrofitting.

“Working closely with local employers, to ensure our courses and training delivers the maximum possible benefit to them, is one of our key aims.

“We are also striving to become a net zero carbon college* by 2030, as set out in our sustainability pledge, and supporting green skills like retrofitting aligns perfectly with our sustainability goals.

“So we are delighted to be teaming up with the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition to stage this event, which sets out how practical steps can be taken to help both our economy and the environment.”

Expert speakers

Other guest speakers will include Erin Wheeler and Katie Privett from York and North Yorkshire LEP, who will give presentations on the net-zero business toolkit and energy and retrofit options, respectively.

John Kerr from Zero Carbon Harrogate, meanwhile, will be discussing the work it is doing – including through teaming up with Harrogate College – to provide free retrofit training, and how landlords can access it.

Places at the event can be booked here:

*The college now provides carbon literacy training for its staff and students, and has embedded sustainable practice into all of its courses as it works towards becoming a recognised centre of green excellence.

Find out more about a network committed to supporting local businesses

Harrogate College Employers’ Network is inviting businesses across the district to get involved – and reap the benefits.

Set up to allow employers to have a direct influence on the courses and training the college provides, the network (HCEN) will hold its annual meeting on Thursday 20 October.

Open to prospective as well as existing members, the 10am to noon event will be a chance to hear about the progress HCEN has made over the past year, plus the rewards it offers.

Attending businesses will also be able to tell Principal Danny Wild about what they would like to see from Harrogate College, its curriculum and the network going forward.

Danny said: “This will be a great opportunity for employers to find out how we can work with them to fulfil their training and recruitment needs.

“It will also be a great chance to give us feedback, influence the education that is being delivered in the district, and shape our future workforce.

“Our Student Employment Programme, which we have just introduced, is a great example of how feedback from the network has led to positive change. This flexible work arrangement allows employers to hire students with the skills they need directly from the college, on a part time basis that fits around their studies.

“We will be targeting this at some of Harrogate’s core industries, including hospitality and health and social care.

“We hope representatives from as many local businesses as possible can get along to the annual meeting of Harrogate College Employers’ Network meeting to discuss how we can help one another while strengthening, and future-proofing, our economy.”

Click here for more details or to book a place at the annual meeting.

Local employers, meanwhile, can also look forward to coming into college on Wednesday 2 November for the Harrogate College Recruitment Fair.

This event, organised through the Student Employment Programme, runs from 10am to 2pm and will give businesses a chance to interview students who have had customer service training directly about work opportunities.

Harrogate College Business Newsletter – June 2022

Harrogate College prides itself on working hand in hand with local businesses and organisations to provide the skills and training they need to ensure that our economy grows and thrives. Our monthly newsletter is a handy way of keeping our partners informed of developments at the college.
To receive future Harrogate College Business Newsletters directly to your inbox click here
Business Newsletter – June 2022

Dear partners,

As the college’s academic year comes to an end, we can reflect on a year of achievement, including lots of activities that have strengthened links with our partners.

We are always looking at ways to give our students experience of real workplaces by teaming up with local businesses. So we are delighted to share details of two great examples of that, involving Techbuyer and RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

We also share some more details of our exciting Student Workers Programme, which has been launched in response to feedback from Harrogate College Employers’ Network.

One of the great joys of working for the college is seeing the life-changing support that we can give to our students, and especially those who have extra obstacles to overcome. So it is a pleasure to share the success story of one of our former Beauty Therapy students, Megan Knight, who is now a valued employee at Hazlewood Caste and Spa.

Such stories demonstrate the real value we can add to lives and the local workforce.

We hope you enjoy the read,

Danny Wild
Harrogate College

Hospitality students impress RHS Garden Harlow Carr
‘A really successful collaboration’.

That’s the tasty verdict on a design-the-menu project that Harrogate College has just completed for RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

Hospitality students were asked to create a hypothetical menu, with a focus on sustainability, for the new café Harlow Carr is creating at the former Harrogate Arms pub.

The challenge involved the students splitting into sub-teams to come up with different ideas. Their completed menus ended up featuring everything from vegetable lasagne to an eggs Benedict and smoothie combo, along with some inventive twists on traditional family favourites.

Each sub-group had to then explain their concepts, and provide samples of their dishes for tasting, during an end-of-project presentation. The Harlow Carr team was impressed with the results, and gave positive feedback across the board.

Read the full story here.

Student-Workers programme – a collaborative approach to match our students with business recruitment needs
Our Student-Workers scheme, which launches in September, has been made in direct response to feedback we’ve had from local businesses.

Focused on helping some of the district’s key sectors, including health and social care and hospitality, it will match up suitably-skilled students with positions where they can work hours to suit their studies.

The programme is designed to benefit both parties, with employers filling staffing gaps while the students gain valuable work experience.

Students who enrol will have six weeks of customer service training and work preparation ahead of our ‘job shop’, where employers come into college to interview them for roles in their businesses.

To get involved, please get in touch with

Digital media students make most of Techbuyer work placement
A high-profile local business has praised Harrogate College students for the fresh thinking they contributed during a work experience placement.

Three Digital Media students joined the Techbuyer Group, a sustainable IT solutions provider that operates globally with its roots firmly in Harrogate.

One was welcomed by Techbuyer’s marketing team while the other two joined the firm’s sister company, Ortial, for the week-long placement.

Techbuyer, a member of the Harrogate College Employers’ Network, was delighted with how the students got on and the contribution they made.

Read the full story here.

Megan lands her dream job
When Megan Knight switched from university to study Beauty Therapy at Harrogate College, she was worried about feeling overwhelmed.

Megan is autistic and knew there would be both learning barriers and sensory triggers, due to all of the creams, oils and other substances involved, to overcome while pursuing her studies.

But the college’s staff worked closely with her to draw up an action plan that would remove obstacles and give Megan the very best chance to succeed – and it worked. Megan, who is in her twenties, went on to excel at her course at both Level 2 and 3, and the college continued to support her when she started applying for spa therapist jobs.

Read the full story here.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of our Business Newsletter – we’ll be back with more soon!

Student’s water-based art trail delights Fountains Abbey visitors

An artist from Harrogate College has teamed up with the National Trust and Henshaws to create a stunning water-based art trail.

Catt van Leijen’s, Waterlogged, features a series of nature-inspired artworks that have been installed in and around Fountains Abbey’s Water Garden and stream.

MA Creative Practice student, Catt, is a long-established artist and a pottery and paper tutor at local charity, Henshaws, where she has worked for 12 years.

So when it came to doing her course’s ‘collaborative project’, she knew she wanted to involve the Art Maker students that she teaches at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre.

The results, including everything from colourfully painted bird and animals, to floating Roman goddess heads, went on display on 28 May and have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors.

Inspired by nature and the need to connect

Catt said: “As the brief was very open, it gave me a great deal of scope for my own interpretation on how I would like to lead this project, from an artistic standpoint and as project manager.

“The inspiration was the nature around us, and getting people out into the fresh air to follow the trail. This focus on connecting with nature, I hoped, would be beneficial in so many ways, including physically and emotionally.

“The complete trail itself is a few miles round so it encourages people of all ages and abilities to connect with the sculptures in their natural setting.”

Catt was delighted to get lots of the people she teaches, and works with, at Henshaws involved – both in the initial discussion and then in creating the artwork.

She said: “I really believe that the students at Henshaws deserve their work to be included in projects like this. And it served as a fantastic opportunity to give our Art Makers a platform in a wonderfully open and public space.”

Artist Catt van Leijen at Fountains Abbey beside one of the Waterlogged project's displays

The trail includes boards with fun animal facts along with, in a nod to The Skell Valley Project*, information on recent flooding and the impact of global warming.

A heady experience on the water

One of the most striking features meanwhile, five porcelain floating heads, were made from a mould that was taken of Catt’s own head.

She said: “These are my take on female Roman goddesses. The Moon Pond Garden only seemed to have male statues, based on Roman figures.

“As I am interested in swimming and nature, I thought it would be quite a playful idea to incorporate five swimming heads which are also related to the goddesses Luna, Salacia, Diana, Minerva and Flora.

“The idea being that animals and humans should all be able to enjoy nature and be part of the narrative along the water.”

Displaying much of the artwork actually on the water turned out to be a challenge in itself, but gave the pieces the impact Catt wanted.

Some of the exhibits created by Art Makers, at Henshaws, for the Waterlogged project

Setting the scene

She added: “I decided they needed to be enjoyed from a distance, and what better way than actually on the water? So I sourced two boats, filled the gaps, applied resin, and sanded, painted and varnished them.

“We made two rafts from pond linings and seasoned wood, and used these as a platform for all the artwork. Then, on the second installation day, we put these in the water.

“Due to the risk of cross-contamination from footwear/equipment, the gardener at Fountains Abbey also went in, wearing his own extremely long waders, to secure the vessels.”

 *The Skell Valley Project is a multi-partner initiative, co-led by the National Trust and Nidderdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to safeguard the valley’s cultural and natural heritage.

Students praised for sharing ‘new perspectives’ with one of Harrogate’s biggest employers

A high-profile local business has praised Harrogate College students for the fresh thinking they contributed during a work experience placement.

Three Digital Media students joined the Techbuyer Group, a sustainable IT solutions provider that operates globally with its roots firmly in Harrogate.

One was welcomed by Techbuyer’s marketing team while the other two joined the firm’s sister company, Ortial, for the week-long placement.

A rewarding and seamless experience

Techbuyer, a member of the Harrogate College Employers’ Network, was delighted with how the students got on and the contribution they made.

Senior Marketing Coordinator at Techbuyer, Maral O’Brien, said: “This was a rewarding experience all round.

“We benefited from the new ideas and perspectives imparted by the  students, and found working with Harrogate College to be hassle-free.

“We found that setting up the work experience was easy, with a placement coordinator from the college helping to facilitate the selection of students, making it a seamless process. Techbuyer would recommend working with Harrogate College to other businesses in the area – it’s an impactful way to help young people become career-ready.

“The work experience opportunity was also a good way of furthering our goal of educating young people about sustainable digital practices in our local community.

“Building and developing links within our community is so important to us, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the college and other local organisations.”

Allies in the fight for sustainability

Techbuyer’s commitment to sustainable practices saw it named Circular Economy Business of the Year at the IEMA Awards, in 2020. The business also set itself nine ambitious targets focused on education, health and wellbeing, and responsible consumption, in 2019 as part of its commitment to the UN Global Goals.

Harrogate College has also put the environment and sustainability at the heart of its operations, and has a Sustainability Pledge which outlines its ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2030.

The college also teaches carbon literacy training and continually updates its courses to ensure they meet the demand for green skills and have sustainability embedded within them. 

In March, meanwhile, the college held a Green Month packed with environmentally-targeted activities and talks.

Maral said this made the college a natural ally: “Contributing to the UN Global Goals is a company-wide effort, and it is initiatives like the recent work experience placement with Harrogate College that showcase our commitment to education and to our local community.

“There is a clear link with Harrogate College in that they aim to instill key sustainability skills through every course in their curriculum, to shape and advance students’ career prospects.”

To find out about setting up work experience opportunities with the college, email contact placement coordinator Susan Roberts at

Harrogate College Business Newsletter – March 2022

Harrogate College prides itself on working hand in hand with local businesses and organisations to provide the skills and training they need to ensure that our economy grows and thrives. Our monthly newsletter is a handy way of keeping our partners informed of developments at the college.

To receive future Harrogate College Business Newsletters directly to your inbox click here

Business Newsletter, March 2022

Dear Partners,

March was Green Month at Harrogate College and we were delighted to collaborate with local businesses, community groups and residents on a variety of environmental events.

To tie in with the month, we also introduced our carbon literacy training for students and staff as part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Always pleased to work closely with local firms, we were pleased to team up with two Harrogate College Employers’ Network members in March – one who came in to give a talk, while another welcomed a visiting group of our students.

Some hospitality students, meanwhile, gained valuable insights into the demands of large-scale catering by visiting Rudding Park, where they were given a guided tour. And two of our Creative Practice MA students, who have now set up their own studio space, impressed the public with their fantastic final year showing.

We hope you enjoy the read.

Danny Wild
Harrogate College

Green shoots – and carbon literacy
Some local businesses played a leading role in our Green Month activities during March.

Techbuyer & Ortial Technologies gave a workshop on Sustainable Technology and How It Affects You. Twelve students and three members of staff took part, and enjoyed a presentation followed by a practical session which involved opening up laptops to see which components were salvageable.

Other Green Month events included a talk on Designing the Purposeful Career, a presentation from food waste charity Too Good To Go, and an art competition.

Meanwhile, as part of the college’s push to reduce our environmental impact, we have begun to train all of our staff and students in carbon literacy. We are excited to also offer this training to local businesses.

For more on Green Month click here.

Rudding Park trip
Our hospitality students enjoyed a guided tour of Rudding Park as part of their enrichment activities – and to prepare them for a week of work experience with a variety of local businesses.

The trip gave them a fantastic opportunity to see a large, full-scale catering and food production operation up close – and to sample some of the food the hotel grows in its own kitchen garden.

Read the full story here.

Building business links
Tracey Hopkins from Springfield Healthcare visited the college to give a ‘day in the life of a healthcare worker’ talk to some of our Level 3 learners. Tracey also gave tips about future careers in the sector during a really engaging presentation.

Course leader David Gaunt, meanwhile, took a group of Business level 3, year 1 students out to visit a high profile local firm, Techbuyer.

The students were shown around all of the business’s departments and briefed about the next stage of their link-up, which will involve going through mock interviews. David said: “This will form part of their grade for the course and is obviously excellent real world experience.”

Art and commerce
Two of our students who have been studying a Master’s degree in Creative Practice have wowed members of the community at their final year exhibition.

Presenting their work at Hopewell Studios in Knaresborough, Gill Owen and Helen Hopper showcased their journey of studying at Harrogate College. Friends, family and guests were invited to attend the show, alongside the Mayor of Harrogate, Trevor Chapman, and his wife. 

Now their studies are complete, Gill has taken on the role of technician in the college’s ceramics department, while Helen is considering further development of her practice in exploring glass. The pair have also set up their own studio space at Spa Studios.

Read more here.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of our Business Newsletter – we’ll be back with more next month!