Stockport College signs £1.4m IT deal

Stockport College has let a 1.4 million contract to IT services provider Carlillion, as part of a 100 million project to become the UK's first 21st century "College of the Future".

Carillion IT Services will provide design consultancy and programme management for Stockport College's IT systems in a lucrative million-pound deal.

The support services group will help the college deliver a super-infrastructure to support its 8,500 students.

Noel McNulty, managing director of Carillion IT Services, said: "Being Stockport College's technology partner of choice from the beginning has ensured that the specific deliverables required by them have been considered, designed and incorporated into our proposed Intelligent Building Solution'."

The project will involve the designing, configuration and installation of technology demonstration suites.

The college will deploy unified communications, wireless technology, RFID, integrated building management systems, digital signage and audiovisual technology.

According to head of IT systems and strategy at Stockport College, David Kelsey, the

core wireless LAN infrastructure, based on Cisco technology, will form the backbone for the whole college. It will run multiple services such as voice, video, data, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), IP CCTV and access control.

"We wanted to create a college without boundaries," said Kelsey. "A college where all students, whether they were on campus or not, could enact with. We see this as an ongoing project and we want to work with someone who would be active with the programme for a series of years. Carillion meets that criteria."

Stockport College is the first college in the UK to adopt Carillion's "Intelligent Building Solution". The building management system co-exists on the network and provides interoperability between multiple devices. This allows decisions to be made proactively about the environmental conditions of the building and how they can be controlled.

Cisco business leader for Higher and Further Education, Tim Liney, said: "Technology can enable easier access to learning and can support teaching, helping to attract new students, improve the workplace and minimise costs through managed heating and lighting. We believe that Stockport's investment is an excellent example of the strategic use of technology to improve the education experience."

The transformation is expected to roll out in four phases and be completed within five years.