The High Melton College campus, part of DN Colleges Group closed in 2017, with the college moving all degree courses to its town centre campus and putting the site up for sale.

The High Melton campus included a nine‑hole golf course, learning resource centre, the Stables restaurant, classrooms, music and dance studios, student accommodation and the Grade II listed Old Hall.

Following the sale of the site and impending demolition, DN Colleges Group approached NCM Auctions to clear the site of all remaining contents and release value from any remaining equipment, furniture and on‑site assets before its redevelopment.


1. Quickly achieve the highest realisation for the disposal and sale of surplus assets

2. Provide a complete solution for High Melton College with a single point of contact and responsibility

3. Dispose of saleable assets while supporting a range of downstream supply chains

4. Evidence the social, environmental and economic benefits of partnering with NCM Auctions

5. Demonstrate a new clearance and sales channel for DN Colleges Group

How we did it

Working to a tight deadline to clear the assets from the building, NCM Auctions managed to catalogue, market, auction and clear the building within a very short time-frame. NCM Auctions built the sale catalogue and put together a multi-channel marketing plan for the auction. A 3-day campaign was immediately actioned to drive traffic. Normally a college auction process would be planned and executed over a number of weeks and months, however when our clients have short deadlines, we are there to react as quickly as possible and deliver maximum returns to our clients.


We had to schedule marketing to start using ‘overview’ shots as most of our email marketing had to be built and scheduled before the cataloguing process was even finished. Due to the strict timings and limited access times for decommissioning and collections we opted to target buyers with 15 miles of the High Melton site.

Alongside NCM’s existing social audiences and bidder database, we used targeted ads and traditional display marketing to drive relevant auction traffic. Potential bidders were prioritised as two key target groups:

- Asset specific interests (high value items) within 15 miles of High Melton

- Bargain-hunters, collectors, small businesses, charities, up-cycling and re-use (lower value items) within 15 miles of High Melton

Specific ads were created for each audience and aggressive ad pacing allowed us to deliver 40k+ impressions.

This is supported by a range of bespoke email marketing, pre-auction messaging and just-in-time ‘ending soon’ reminders.


The High Melton College auction was simulcast across four platforms providing global reach for bidders. The 230 auction lots achieved over 1,900 bids and 29,000 views, with 84% of all lots sold. An outstanding result considering the extremely short deadline for completion.


Alongside the financial benefits, it’s important to demonstrate the proven environmental gains and advantages to the local community and economy by reusing surplus assets. The result is a tangible set of outcomes that can be used to help validate DN Colleges Group corporate, social and environmental responsibilities.

Helping Communities

The auction has allowed surplus assets to be re-purposed – growing companies, launching new business ventures, helping communities and charities across the UK and beyond. The type of assets and equipment included in the High Melton College auction are especially important to third sector non-profits.

Buyer Stories

Roy Spalding - Roy bought various items of furniture. He organises collection and delivery of all his winning lots and donates them to a local Multiple Sclerosis Charity.

Jeffery Robinson - Jeffery bought various items of catering equipment for his new cafe in Birmingham – a new business venture he’s hoping to launch later this year.

Stacey Turner - Stacey bought catering equipment, she is setting up her own food packaging company that packs pre-cooked meals and delivers them across the UK.

Elaine Hall - Elaine bought the polytunnel to help expand her own vegetable store company. Buying at auction allowed her to buy a much bigger polytunnel that will help grow the business faster.