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The Corporation

Posted: 16/01/09

£96m 'super-college' plans take major leap

Plans for a £96m state-of-the-art college for Mansfield and Ashfield have a taken a major leap forwards.

That’s because Ashfield District Council last night (Thursday 15 January 2008) backed West Nottinghamshire College's plans to build a new 'super college' to replace its existing Derby Road campus.

Councillors granted the college full planning permission to build a new central campus on 16 acres of land to the south of Cauldwell Road.

It means the scheme has the backing of the two district councils needed in order for work to go ahead, following earlier approval by Mansfield District Council.

Full planning permission was required from both councils due to the site falling within both district boundaries. The proposed development received outline planning permission from both authorities last year.

The Learning and Skills Council must now approve the scheme and funding arrangements before construction of the eagerly-awaited building can get under way.

Derbyshire-based construction firm Bowmer and Kirkland are on stand-by to build the flagship college – which will open its doors to students and staff in 2011 – after being appointed as main contractors.

Asha Khemka OBE, West Nottinghamshire College Principal and Chief Executive, said: "I'm thrilled Ashfield District Council has approved our plans to build a world-class college that will benefit our communities for generations to come.

"It's marvellous the scheme has received the backing of both district councils because it has taken many months of hard work, planning and preparation to get to where we are today.

"The new college will provide truly inspirational educational opportunities for our growing student population and help raise aspirations and skill levels across the area.

"Furthermore, it will symbolise the ongoing regeneration of Mansfield and Ashfield and signal the area's ambitions for the 21st century."

Boasting a futuristic design, the college will act as an impressive gateway to Mansfield and Ashfield and bring together a number of existing college sites.

It will boast a three-storey teaching block and creative arts building, eight-storey tower, split-level two-storey construction and engineering block, sports centre and parking for around 700 vehicles.

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

It will incorporate many sustainable features designed to maximise daylight and reduce energy consumption including thermal insulation and heat-recovery ventilation.