Thursday, February 18, 2010

News: College progresses new Rotherham town centre campus


Rotherham College of Arts and Technology (RCAT) are progressing with plans to create a new campus in Rotherham town centre.

The college has announced phase one of a five phase development which is forecasted to cost in the region of £7m to build. This will provide a new focal point entrance for the campus development and classrooms and facilities equipped to 21st century standards.

The new building will link in with the existing advanced manufacturing facilities and provide improved facilities for the development of higher level and technical skills courses.

Planning permission was secured for a £70m redevelopment in January last year, the same month as the much publicised national debacle regarding the allocation of capital funds for projects by the Learning & Skills Council.

Since then, the college has conducted a reappraisal of its development plans and determined that a new proposal will now be pursued.

George Trow, RCAT's principal and chief executive said: "Clearly, the national capital build issues of last year had a considerable effect on plans for over 100 colleges as the funding intended to support new build projects collapsed. This has had an adverse effect on many colleges who have yet to recover from the difficulties the issues but before the dust had settled on this matter, we had begun a reappraisal process to consider how best to respond to the issue and move forward.

"Our new plans are part of a phased approach to the redevelopment of the town centre campus and reflect the needs and aspirations of the college and our determination to provide the best facilities for our community and stakeholders.

"The new proposals demonstrate our commitment to providing first class facilities and we are all very excited about the prospect of this fantastic new facility right in the heart of Rotherham. As well as the new facilities the building will provide, we aim to join together other buildings to form a campus arrangement and the project plans include landscaped open spaces that will be functional and visually appealing.

"Our immediate plans are to gain approval for the project from the Learning and Skills Council and local planning authorities but if everything goes in our favour, we hope to have the new building work complete by August 2011."

RCAT website

Images: RCAT


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