A FORMER student of Birkenhead Sixth Form College has returned to help shape its future by designing a new multi-million pound science, arts and learning support block.

The £3.5million development includes new science labs, five new arts classrooms, student spaces, offices and a purpose built disabled toilet and shower room.

Its design and building work has been overseen by Rachel Clegg, a qualified architect from Wirral firm, Ainsley Gommon Architects. The project is due to be completed this month.

Rachel, from Birkenhead, attended the college from 1999 to 2001.

The 29-year-old, who graduated from Oxford Brookes University said: "Birkenhead Sixth Form College played a key part in my education and development into a career in architecture, so it's great to be back and working on these facilities, which will give other students an even greater stepping stone to further education or employment.

"The College has a strong ethos of supporting students to fulfil their ambitions – my teachers actually helped me to secure work experience at Ainsley Gommon while I was studying.

"I was always keen on architecture and gained the A-level results I needed to attend Oxford Brookes, which has one of the best Architecture Departments in the UK.

"I worked closely with Steve Geary, one of the directors at Ainsley Gommon Architects, on the design work and we are very proud of the developments."

Steve said: "When the first project was awarded to us, I asked Rachel if she would like be Project Architect, not only for her excellent design skills, but also to show the college how one of their ex students has succeeded in her chosen career, and to allow Rachel to give something back for their commitment to her.

"The College is an excellent place to study and the students have access to some of the best facilities in the region."

Birkenhead Sixth Form College principal Kathryn Podmore said: "It has been a pleasure to welcome Rachel back and we are delighted that another of our students has progressed into such a prestigious profession.

"The work undertaken by Rachel and Ainsley Gommon Architects has been excellent and we look forward to opening the facilities to our students.

"As a Centre of Academic Excellence we take pride in giving our students the confidence, aspirations and skills to succeed in their chosen career."