College campuses and homes - the future

PUBLISHED: 17:13 19 March 2007 | UPDATED: 22:39 28 May 2010

Blueprint for the future?

Blueprint for the future?

PLANS for new college campuses in March and King s Lynn - and proposals to build 250 homes on what will become a redundant site in Wisbech- were unveiled on Monday as the College of West Anglia set out its vision for the future. The £100m scheme - the big

PLANS for new college campuses in March and King's Lynn - and proposals to build 250 homes on what will become a redundant site in Wisbech- were unveiled on Monday as the College of West Anglia set out its vision for the future.

The £100m scheme - the biggest of its kind currently under way in Britain - will offer hundreds more students the opportunity to do degree courses.

Artists' impressions of the scheme were unveiled at the first of a number of public consultation meetings held at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, March.

They showed teaching blocks and student accommodation radiating out from large glass atrium, which consultation notes said would be the heart of the new college.

March campus, sprawling 80 acres, will have 12,500 square metres of teaching space, and include the relocated equine and horticultural units from Wisbech. Included in the new teaching blocks will be areas for engineering, computing, motor vehicle maintenance and there will even be a dog grooming parlour.

The campus will be built on farmland west of the A141 March By-pass, close to Gaul Farm and the Old Nene, and an adjoining 120 acres will become a country park.

Community groups will be encouraged to use the campus, and both the atrium, and a new 200 seater theatre complex, could be available for outside bodies. There will be a close tie up with Neale Wade Community College, since the new campus will not provide A level courses.

Planning consent is expected to be fast tracked this summer, with work beginning either later this year or early next: the first students should arrive by the autumn of 2009.

"It's meant to be a visionary building that will inspire people to come here, it will be very impressive, said Jill Francis, the college's executive director.

"The whole thing is really exciting, it's the biggest investment in the country in a college at the moment. It's a major capital investment, the whole lot together is worth about £100m.

"The buildings we have are beyond their sell-by date. We need to have facilities of the future for the students of the future."

Mrs Francis said the new accommodation would enable the college to expand the number of degree places it offered students via a partnership with Anglia Ruskin University by up to 500.

Isle College in Wisbech, which merged with the College of West Anglia two years ago, is also being replaced with a similar state-of-the art campus to the new Lynn college.

The new site will be located adjacent to the Queens School and a joint development is expected to begin soon and open in 2010, the same year as the new Lynn campus.

King's Lynn's new campus, which will replace the former NORCAT complex off the town's Tennyson Avenue, will be built at the gateway to the new Nar Ouse Redevelopment Area (NORA) site.

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