Thursday, January 16, 2014

News: Rotherham college continues to invest

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Rotherham students could find themselves spending even more time in the pub as Rotherham College of Arts & Technology (RCAT) submit plans to convert The Charter Arms pub for educational use.

The 4,300 sq ft pub is part of the markets complex right next door to RCAT's town centre campus and a planning application has recently been submitted for a change of use that would enable the college to use the building to provide a new facility for it's Performing Arts courses. The new area would provide music practice and performance areas.

A popular live music venue, the long leasehold of The Charter Arms has been up for sale for a year with property consultants, James A Baker. It is currently under offer.

Rotherham College has invested over £15m in the last three years improving the facilities after securing government funding and a £5m loan from the council. The most recent investment has seen the student run Wharncliffe restaurant undergo a complete refit, with a new frontage, interior, coffee area and kitchen. The new Wharncliffe in Rotherham town centre (pictured, below) will now better prepare learners for working in the hospitality sector.
Other investments have included the opening of the new hair and beauty salons, new science and metallurgy labs and the all new eco-friendly Wentworth Building, also in the town centre. The engineering department has been renovated to create the new Engineering Centre of Excellence, with new equipment installed along with the refurbishment of existing lathes and millers.

The college is training the region's construction workforce of tomorrow with students benefiting from a larger improved Construction Centre at Rawmarsh Road, with three dedicated units. The new units - painting, decorating and plastering - sit alongside the existing brickwork, carpentry and joinery units. At the Rother Valley Campus in Dinnington, new plumbing workshops have been built, meaning learners obtain more practical experience, such as working with gas fittings and copper piping.

Aspiring scientists have already benefited from investment in state-of-the-art laboratories at the college with five new labs built in 2012. Childcare and Care learners have had their experience enhanced with new childcare classrooms and a new hospital room built.

This year will again see a number of significant developments at both the town centre and Rother Valley campuses. The Rother Valley Campus is receiving a £513,374 investment to provide an improved service for 16 to 24 year olds who have complex autistic spectrum conditions and disorders. The investment will redevelop existing library space and courtyard area to create an employability and progression centre as well as a quiet study and respite area.

Gill Alton, principal and chief executive of RCAT, said: "We are delighted to be able to invest in state of the art facilities which underpin the excellent training offered at Rotherham College. It is important that students have an opportunity to work with industry standard facilities and resources."

RCAT website

Images: RCAT

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