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The Corporation

Posted: 13/04/11

College unveils £24 million redevelopment plans

West Nottinghamshire College has unveiled major redevelopment plans in what is being hailed a “once-in-a-generation” investment in education and skills.

The £24 million scheme will completely transform the Derby Road campus in Mansfield, reflecting the community’s “ambitions and aspirations for the 21st century,” said principal and chief executive Asha Khemka OBE.

The impressive scheme, which is part of plans to bring as much teaching and learning as possible onto the main campus, includes:

  • A landmark two/three-storey new-build providing around 4,000sqm of additional teaching and learning space, plus a commercial and training hair and beauty salon, health spa and restaurant;
  • A state-of-the-art sports hall boasting badminton and basketball courts, sports science lab, refreshments and viewing area, toilets and changing facilities;
  • Converting the three-storey block to create more teaching space;
  • External re-cladding of the six-storey tower block and surrounding buildings to rejuvenate the visual appearance of the campus;
  • An enclosed courtyard to provide increased social and dining space for students;
  • Extended car parking from the Cauldwell Road entrance and larger visitors’ car park off Derby Road.

Mrs Khemka said: “This £24 million scheme represents a once-in-a-generation investment by the college in education and skills and will serve as a major regeneration boost for Mansfield and surrounding communities.

“It will completely transform the main campus and provide our growing student population with truly inspirational education and training opportunities.

“The rejuvenated college will act as a symbol of the area’s pride, ambitions and aspirations for the 21st century.  It’s what our communities deserve.”

The new build will accommodate hair, beauty and complementary therapies – which will relocate from the college’s town centre training and commercial salon – and the hospitality, sport, leisure and travel curriculum, which is currently spread across several locations at Derby Road.

Meanwhile, improvements to the three-storey block will enable visual arts to relocate from the Chesterfield Road site.

This will bring the curriculum closer to music, media and performing arts, which transfer to the college’s flagship £5 million creative arts centre – which is part of the overall redevelopment – when it opens its doors in September.

The plans are subject to planning approval and the college has begun initial consultation by staging a drop-in exhibition for local residents, following an earlier presentation to councillors.

It intends to submit a planning application in June, which will lead to further public consultation.

Work is planned to start on the car park and sports hall in September 2011, followed by the new build in November.  The college aims to complete these by December 2012, with the remainder of the scheme finished by September 2013.

The redevelopment, which will be funded by the college, marks the “dynamic new approach” to rejuvenating the Derby Road campus promised by Mrs Khemka.

Mrs Khemka added: “Derby Road is a fragmented site and some of the buildings are looking quite tired now, which does not reflect the college’s outstanding reputation.

“By modernising our buildings, students will enjoy the very best teaching, learning and social space which will complement the high-quality education and training already provided here on a daily basis.

“Furthermore, upgrading our buildings will reduce our running costs, freeing-up money to invest in our students’ learning experience.

“Our proposals are subject to planning approval so we’ll be consulting further with local residents and the planning authority to bring this much-needed scheme to fruition.”