RNLI College

  • Client RNLI
  • Location Poole, Dorset
  • Cost £25m
  • Year 2004

RNLI College is the home of RNLI training and was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 28 July 2004.

This distinctive building, with its wave-like roof and porthole windows, was first conceived as a training centre for lifeboat crews. Thousands of volunteer crew have since passed through its doors and into its classrooms, lifeboats, live engine workshops, bridge simulator and sea survival wave pool. The sixty bedroom residential training college has evolved and grown into a central home for the RNLI community. The survival centre allows trainees to undertake capsize drills under 'realistic but controlled conditions'.

The five story residential college, which has 60 bedrooms, training and seminar rooms, a 150 seat auditorium as well as a kitchen, restaurant, bar, and fitness facilities, looks set to become a new seafront landmark on the Dorset coast.

The award-winning building and it's stunning location overlooking Poole Harbour has seen the college become a popular venue for events, including weddings and conferences. Its construction has been a catalyst for Poole's waterfront regeneration.

Lifeboat College principal Sue Hennessey said, 'This new college will enable us to improve greatly the specialist facilities needed to provide our crews with all aspects of the training they should have to prepare them for the demands of saving lives at sea.'

RNLI College
Official opening ceremony
Sea survival centre and wave pool
Rescue boat bridge simulator

"Having just seen some of the excellent training that is already being delivered, I am certain that the Lifeboat College will play a vital role in helping the RNLI to save even more lives at sea."

HRH Queen Elizabeth II
RNLI College
  • LABC Highly Commended – Best Public/Community Building 2005
  • Project of the Year National Quality in Construction Awards 2005
  • Pride of Place Awards Borough of Poole 2005