1868 - ?

The Sidney Cooper School of Art was founded in 1868 by landscape and animal painter Sidney Cooper. It was based in his former home in St Peter's Street, Canterbury and several small houses at the back of the original building were also acquired and converted into a gallery. Cooper presented the college to the City of Canterbury in 1882 with the objective of giving the youth of Canterbury and its neighbourhood the opportunity to study. In the same year it was affiliated to the Science and Art Department at South Kensington School of Art. The school then became known as Canterbury College of Art and offered both day and evening classes on various subjects including embroidery, woodwork, sketching and life drawing. By the 1930s. the School was offering courses on a wide range of arts and crafts including dress design, millinery, embroidery, shop display, painting and decorating, cabinet work, woodcarving, upholstery, stone carving and letter cutting. Architectural instruction was offered by means of a link with the Department of Architecture at the Thanet Art School, Margate. The college was regarded as a regional centre for instruction in arts and crafts and as well as offering courses for study also held series of lectures for the public who had an interest in the area. In 1936 a reorganisation took place when the college became the joint responsibility of the City of Canterbury and County of Kent education authorities, which remained in force until 1974. In 1939 plans were approved by the City Council for an annexe to be built on the St Peter's Lane site this was not built until after the war. Student numbers increased rapidly in the post-war period, with Foundation Studies and the School of Fine Art emerging in the early 1960s. The School of Architecture was formally inaugurated in 1952 and received full recognition by the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1958. In 1971 Canterbury College of Art moved to a new site in its present location. Canterbury College of Art eventually merged with Maidstone and Medway College to form the Kent Institute of Art and Design in 1987. The Kent Institute of Art and Design and the Surrey Institute of Art and Design merged in 2005 to become the University College for Creative Arts. After gaining accreditation in 2008 it became the University for Creative Arts.