From education to employment

Groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate £100m regeneration scheme

Newcastle College is set to hold an official groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction work on its new campus and subsequent £100 million regeneration scheme.
School pupils from Knutton St Mary’s Primary School will cut the first ground along with College Principal Karen Dobson during an event at the new college site on Knutton Lane on Tuesday 6th May.
The college development will set off a £100 million chain of regeneration to the western edge of Newcastle town centre, incorporating a new Sainsbury’s store, offices and housing on the college’s existing site, improvements to road and pedestrian routes and new retail developments on the old Sainsbury’s site in the town centre.
The new college will go ahead thanks to substantial funding from the Learning and Skills Council and Advantage West Midlands.
Funding from the Learning and Skills Council has been allocated as part of the Government’s Building Colleges for the Future programme, which will see over £2.3 billion invested in new colleges in England between 2008 and 2011.
Principal Karen Dobson said “We’re extremely proud to be part of this major development. We are amongst the most successful FE colleges in the country and the new campus will be one of the largest colleges ever built in the West Midlands, attracting substantial funding from the Learning and Skills Council and Advantage West Midlands.”
She added “We feel that the scale of public investment is a real recognition of the critical role of skills, training and employment in the regeneration of the area.”
Paul Farrelly, MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said; “The new college is crucial to further education in Newcastle, for our children and for equipping adults, too, with the skills which they and local businesses need. Ambition and aspiration are vital for our area. The state-of-the-art college, replacing old, worn-out premises, will provide an exciting environment to spur on learning.”
He adds “This is the biggest single investment in education ever in Newcastle and in all this whole development will inject £100 million into Newcastle and around our town centre.”
Newcastle-under-Lyme College recently received a highly complimentary Ofsted Inspection Report which praised its high student success rates, good teaching and “outstanding contribution” to the economic well-being of its students.
The College has appointed Coventry-based HBG Construction Ltd, which is now the biggest contractor for education buildings within the UK. HBG has already commenced preparation works on the site, including erecting perimeter fencing, putting in a site office, forming the site entrance on Knutton Lane and preparing ground for onsite roads and car-parking to service the development.
Building work on the college building itself will commence with the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, 6th May.

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