West Dean College of Arts and Conservation in Chichester, West Sussex today announced it is acquiring KLC School of Design in London.
KLC will join The Edward James Foundation, which operates West Dean College, in July allowing the two institutions to combine their operations from August under the management of West Dean College.
KLC’s portfolio of interior and garden design courses will form a new School of Design as part of the larger West Dean College, which currently has a School of Conservation and a School of Arts. West Dean College’s courses include buildings, materials and objects conservation as well as fine art, creative writing and contemporary craft.
KLC’s London studios in the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and West Dean College’s rural campus in the South Downs will continue operations for the foreseeable future, with students being offered greater choice of studies and a wider range of courses in complementary subjects.
Alexander Barron, chief executive of West Dean College said: “West Dean College is 50 years old this year and KLC is 40. Important milestones for two institutions that share a rich and successful history providing high-quality, specialist education in arts, conservation and design. We have an incredible opportunity in bringing our two renowned and respected organisations together. Combining our strengths, we will become stronger and more successful than the sum of our parts, forging a truly exciting new era for specialist creative and craft education in the UK and internationally.”
Jenny Gibbs, principal of KLC School of Design added: “At KLC we have always believed in the benefits of collaboration. We share the values and ethos of West Dean College and are hugely excited about the opportunities our combined programmes in art, design and conservation will bring to current students and future students. As one institution we will be in a better position to meet the fast-changing needs of students, the industries we serve and the rapidly changing world beyond.
Francine Norris, principal of West Dean College, commented: “Bringing our two renowned institutions together is a win-win, not just for the students and staff of West Dean College and KLC School of Design, but for the future of specialist creative practice-based education in the UK. The potential for future course development, collaborations and interdisciplinary working is really exciting.”
Date published: 29 March 2021