At Cheadle, as at Marple, the college initially operated in two former school buildings. About ten years ago it had the good fortune to discover that one of them was unsafe because of reinforced concrete decay, and it had to be demolished. It therefore had to be replaced, hence the smart and efficient new building which students use on the Cheadle site.
The other building at Cheadle (the former girls' grammar school) is also still in use, although I believe it has had some modernisation work. It is only about 50 years old - whereas the Hibbert Lane building dates from 1931.
I entirely agree that quality of teaching, college standards and student care are very important. But in reality, these factors improve as a result of replacing inefficient old buildings with efficient new ones, because funds are released to improve them. And it isn't really about 'shiny new rooms' at all, though students do like them, and so do staff - and attracting and retaining the best staff is key to providing a quality education.
However, the key factor is cost and efficiency. Having managed a college which moved from grotty old converted buildings to shiny new purpose-built ones, I can tell you that the savings in running costs (heating, lighting, maintenance) and in space efficiency were astonishing, and of course they are savings which recur, year in, year out, and become really significant. And this enabled us to free up much needed resources to help improve the teaching.