Friday, September 10, 2010

News: £5m council loan ensures progress for the redevelopment of RCAT's town centre campus

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Rotherham Borough Council's Cabinet has approved the application received from Rotherham College of Arts and Technology (RCAT) that grants access to a £5m loan.

The loan facility has been made available as part of the college's plans to build a state of the art building at its town centre campus on Eastwood Lane.

The value of the project is £8.15m in total with funding coming from a combination of a loan of £5m and use of some of the college's own financial reserves to the value of £3.15m.

Cabinet members agreed to provide access to the loan facility that will be charged at a commercial rate over a 25 year period and is subject to standard security conditions.

The planned new three storey building will be erected on the site of the recently-demolished Floreat House on Howard Street. It will provide a new focal point entrance for the campus, with classrooms and facilities equipped to modern standards.

Elaine Woodhams, Interim Principal and Chief Executive at RCAT said: "The college is pleased to have access to this loan facility and is grateful to Cabinet Members for their support for our plans. Governors at the college will now meet at a full Corporation meeting in October and consider the funding arrangements and final proposals for the planned new building.

"A new building in the town centre such as ours is undoubtedly good news for Rotherham and will contribute towards the renaissance of the town centre. Our proposed new building uses modern architecture, construction techniques and materials and is set to become a distinctive feature of the town centre as well as offering excellent functionality.

"We have worked closely with all stakeholders and partners to prepare our proposals for the new building and I am both delighted and grateful for the level of support provided by all parties including RMBC. Projects of this nature can be complex in their planning and the realisation of projects such as ours is testimony to the commitment of everyone involved to make a difference and provide excellent learning facilities for Rotherham."

Martin Kimber, Chief Executive of Rotherham Borough Council, said: "RCAT plays a huge role in the education of both young people and adults across the Borough, which is vital to both the students themselves and to Rotherham's long-term development.

"The college has a good track record of improving performance and so when it made a formal request for access to financial support from the council it was only right that we should work in partnership, which is consistent with Rotherham's Community Strategy."

Yesterday RCAT secured £225,000 from the Government to invest in new buildings and renovate existing ones. Planning permission had been secured for a £70m redevelopment in January 2009 but funds from the government where not forthcoming.

RCAT website
Rotherham Council website

Images: RCAT

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