Call us today! 01524 381331

Chamber Chat with Charlotte Rawes

The lasting impact created by local institutions.

2024 is a year of significant anniversaries with a number of high-profile businesses celebrating auspicious birthdays; the RSPCA, RNLI and Cadbury’s are all 200 years old and locally Standfast & Barracks have just marked their own centenary, which is a fantastic achievement. At Lancaster & Morecambe College we are also in a celebratory mood, as we are able to trace our roots back to the opening of the Library & Mechanics’ Institute on Mary Street in 1824.  Whilst no trace of the original building remains, and the provision moved into other premises across the city over the next two decades – including stints on Penny Street, Sun Street and the Freemason’s Hall on Brock Street, before finally finding a permanent home in 1856 at the Storey Institute – the history of continuous technical education in our district is fascinating.

Conceived at the beginning of the 19th century, the Mechanics’ Institutes movement was built upon the aims of improving adult literacy and numeracy for working people, and supporting the development of technical education. Initially based in large cities such as London, Edinburgh and Manchester, the movement gained pace and in 1824, Lancaster was one of around a dozen institutes in existence. Within 2 years there were over 100 established in towns and cities across the country.

By the time the campus moved again to its new home on Morecambe Road in 1963 – and formally became Lancaster & Morecambe College –the further education sector across our district had evolved to incorporate a wide range of disciplines, and this growth has continued.   

The Mechanics’ Institutes were the forerunners of FE and Adult Education Colleges, polytechnics and even some universities and at LMC we are justifiably proud of these roots, and how the College has continued to evolve a high standard of technical education relevant to our learners, local employers and the wider community.

Legacy is important to us at LMC and this is the shared history of our whole community. For every adult who has attended an evening class to develop a new skill, to those young people who choose to study a vocational subject or apprenticeship as they start out on their career path, we hope that you will join us in celebrating 200 years of technical education across our district.