Expensive apostrophe dropped by Preston's College
and live on Freeview channel 276
The further education centre in Fulwood has decided to abandon the controversial punctuation mark and return to its previous name of Preston College after eight years of head scratching.
The apostrophe cost £25,000 when it was first introduced in 2013 as part of a change of image at the campus in St Vincent's Road.
College bosses say they have now sounded out staff, students and stakeholders and found the overwhelming majority still prefer the old name, so the apostrophe has been deleted.
"I wouldn't say it was a mistake," said one senior member of staff. "But from our feedback it is clear it wasn't unanimously liked across the city."
The college says the apostrophe will disappear as part of a routine refurbishment of the external signage at the campus.
But it insists the exercise will be "nowhere near" as expensive as it was eight years ago.
In an official statement issued today, a spokesperson explained: "Eight years on from a major refresh of the Preston’s College campus, an update of external signage was required to ensure our outdoor spaces continue to reflect the industry leading facilities housed within our purpose built workshops and classrooms.
"This provided an ideal opportunity to engage with a host of external stakeholders, our learners and staff to seek thoughts, opinions and associations made with both our current branding and college name.
"Overwhelming feedback concluded that it was time to update our college look and in the process, take us back to our legal name, Preston College. We are still Educate North’s Further Education College of the Year 2020, but with a slightly new look.
"The work has been produced by internal marketing and design teams, keeping the vibrant look and feel our learners, staff and wider college community have come to expect."
The name-change has been welcomed on social media. Steph Lamkin wrote: "Thank God for that! No more Preston's College."
And Babs Firbank agreed, saying: "It created so much confusion and we all kept forgetting to say its name with the 's. It's a great college without the 's."
Back in 2013, when the apostrophe was added, the college said it had held discussions with focus groups – including past and current parents and students – and industry experts to come up with ways of relaunching the college and encouraging more people to see it as the place to study.
"The new brand name has been introduced to communicate a vision that has its sights set on establishing the college as one of the top enterprising colleges in Britain, as well as reflecting the college's heritage and continued commitment to enhancing its contribution to Lancashire's community."