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The Corporation

Posted: 04/11/11

HRH The Duke of Kent to open college’s £5m creative arts centre

Vision West Notts is preparing to welcome its second Royal visitor in less than three years.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent will officially open ‘Create’ – the college’s new £5m creative arts centre – on Monday 14 November 2011.

His Royal Highness will spend time touring the state-of-the-art facilities where he will meet staff, students and local dignitaries before unveiling a special plaque to mark the occasion.

Create, which opened its doors to students in September, is the first phase of a £24 million plan to transform the college’s Derby Road campus in Mansfield with new buildings and facilities. 

It provides media, music and performance students with high-tech facilities and equipment including workshop and rehearsal space; television, radio and digital recording studios; multi-media, animation and video editing suites; a commercial software training centre; performing arts and dance studios; and a 150-seat performance theatre.

As well as being an inspirational learning environment for more than 200 students, the college wants the building to become a focal point for local musicians, performers and touring companies, who are being urged to use its recording studios, rehearsal space and performance theatre.

The visit by The Duke of Kent follows a visit by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to the college’s £7.2m Construction and Logistics Skills Academy in February 2009.

Principal and chief executive, Asha Khemka OBE, said:  “We will be truly honoured to welcome The Duke of Kent to our flagship new Create building.  Students have fully embraced the state-of-the-art facilities, which are already helping them to expand and develop their learning and creative abilities.

“I’m sure His Royal Highness will be equally impressed by this modern and inspirational building and the experience we are offering learners within the creative industries.”

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The event is being sponsored by Pearson Education Limited; one of the world’s leading learning companies.

Vision West Notts (formerly known as West Nottinghamshire College) is one of the largest colleges in the East Midlands; providing education and training to more than 20,000 full and part-time students. 

With two main campuses in Mansfield and a number of specialist academies and centres located in and around the surrounding area, the college is an integral part of the community in which it serves.

In 2008 the college was awarded Grade 1 (outstanding) across all categories by Ofsted, which placed it amongst the top-performing colleges in the country.

Earlier this year it announced an ambitious £24m plan to redevelop its Derby Road campus, Mansfield, in what college chiefs hailed as a “once-in-a-generation investment in education and skills”.

Create is the first building to be completed as part of this master-plan and is set to be followed by a £1.5m multi-use sports hall, with work currently under way.  There are also plans for a landmark new building providing 4,000 sqm of additional teaching and learning space, plus hair and beauty salons, a health spa and fine-dining restaurant for training and commercial use.