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    BSDC’s new Biome to tell the story of Burton

    26 September 2023

    Burton and South Derbyshire College is set to launch a new creative hybrid space as part of the College’s upgraded and revitalised facilities that are being delivered through the £3.5 million of funding through the Stronger Towns Fund.

    The College’s ‘Biome’ will be an area for learners to evolve, adapt, create and learn, forming a gateway to facilities including a motion capture suite and 3D printing in partnership with Ultimaker.

    The name ‘Biome’ was chosen to reflect the importance of sustainability, encouraging collaboration, diversity and creativity. The space will have a local environment focus and will include sustainably sourced and hand-crafted furniture by local furniture maker, Jeff Maker.

    Jeff’s furniture making business, Storied Furniture aims to tell stories with each piece of furniture and the connections we all make with the world. Jeff is also committed to making sure the materials he uses are as sustainable as possible and is passionate about Burton’s connection with nature and the National Forest.

    Amongst the furniture in the College’s Biome will include a pair of benches called ‘Flow’ inspired by the connection that Burton has to water. There will also be a bench called ‘Coppice’ which connects with the natural landscape that surrounds Burton and is a nod to the sustainable wood management technique of ‘coppicing’. Another bench will be called ‘Via’ and is inspired by the viaduct in Burton, a walkway that spans across the Washlands.

    All of the bespoke furniture in the Biome will be made from locally sourced British Ash which has been harvested and dried in the National Forest. Jeff finishes every piece of the furniture he makes by hand in his workshop to bring an extra layer of quality to the furniture he creates.

    As part of the commission, Jeff also came into the College to speak to students about his work and sustainability practices. Jeff said: “I was excited to speak to the students at BSDC, I think it’s important to share practical and passion for the crafts. It was a great opportunity for them to see what the possibilities are when they leave education.”

    Speaking about the furniture he has been creating for the College’s Biome, Jeff said: “My designs are very much inspired by Burton and the local area, a place with incredible history. I think they will fit in well to the Biome because of the sustainable way my furniture is produced and because my designs connect with the local area around the college.”

    He added: “I hope it will inspire students that use it to develop an interest in craft furniture. I think it’s important for students to learn about sustainability, particularly those going into careers related to house building and crafts. Using energy responsibly is something that we need to make sure that we all do.”

    Contact Details

    Contact Details

    Burton and South Derbyshire College
    Tel: 01283 494400

    Town Centre Campus

    Burton Town Centre Campus, Lichfield Street, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3RL

    Stephen Burke Construction Academy

    Construction Academy, 21 Tetron Point, William Nadin Way, Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE11 OBB