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The Corporation

Posted: 06/01/09

New ‘super-college’ moves a step closer

Ambitious plans for a £96m ‘super-college’ for Mansfield and Ashfield have moved a step closer. 

Planning chiefs at Mansfield District Council last night (Monday 5 January, 2009) gave West Nottinghamshire College the green light to build a new state-of-the-art college on 16 acres of land off the A60, adjacent to its existing Derby Road campus.

Councillors granted full planning permission for the scheme to create a new central campus for the College that will provide 32,440 square metres of teaching and learning space.

Because the site falls inside the Mansfield and Ashfield boundaries, the matter will also be considered by Ashfield District Council’s planning committee when it meets on 15 January.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) must also approve the scheme, which forms part of its Building Colleges for the Future programme, before work can go ahead.

If approval is granted by all parties, construction work on the “iconic” building that will serve as a gateway to Mansfield and Ashfield could start in March this year.

Boasting a futuristic design, the new college will comprise a three-storey teaching block and creative arts building, an eight-storey tower, a split-level two-storey construction and engineering block, sports centre and parking for around 700 vehicles.

It will also provide a range of specialist facilities for students, staff and the local community including a 250-seat performance theatre, health spa, sports hall and fine-dining restaurant with panoramic views of the surrounding area.

The new building will replace the Derby Road campus and will bring together a number of existing college sites.

Asha Khemka, Principal and Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College, said:  “I’m delighted Mansfield District Council has backed our plans for the new college, which will provide the inspirational teaching and learning space that our communities so richly deserve.

“The iconic building will act as a symbol of the community’s ambitions and aspirations, and I’m pleased the Council shares our vision of providing world-class facilities for young people and adults across the area.”