£50m college revamp edges closer

A MULTI-million pound investment in the future of Suffolk College that will transform part of Ipswich has moved a step closer to reality. Business plans for an innovative £50m scheme to provide new buildings and facilities for the college were approved by the college's corporation at a meeting this week.

A MULTI-million pound investment in the future of Suffolk College that will transform part of Ipswich has moved a step closer to reality.

Business plans for an innovative £50m scheme to provide new buildings and facilities for the college were approved by the college's corporation at a meeting this week.

The plans will now be presented to the Suffolk Learning and Skills Council for approval on November 17, before being submitted to the National Learning and Skills Council for consideration early next year.

The new buildings and facilities will be located on and around the current Suffolk College site in Ipswich and it is anticipated that the first students will move into the new buildings during 2007.


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The development would be integrated with the proposed creation of University Campus Suffolk to provide seamless progression from high quality further education and vocational training to university level education.

College principal Professor Dave Müller said: "New buildings and facilities for Suffolk College are needed to meet increasing demand for vocational education and training and the continuing growth in students wishing to study further education.

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"Over the last three years full-time numbers of further education students at Suffolk College have expanded to more than 2,300, with at least 8,000 students taking part-time further education qualificatory courses.''

Andrew Shelley, chairman of the College Corporation, said: "This exciting and imaginative development will provide resources fit for the 21st Century.

"The college will invest its own resources in the development and will seek support from the Learning and Skills Council and other partners. It is an exciting development designed to support the economic, social and cultural development of Ipswich, Suffolk and the wider eastern region."

Jim Hehir, chief executive of Ipswich Borough Council, welcomed the latest development.

He said: "This is an extremely exciting project. It's a massive boost to the learning and skills agenda and the regeneration of the education quarter of Ipswich and the waterfront.

"Most importantly, it's a massive boost to the university application as well, as both sites will be within the education quarter and they will complement each other.

"It will totally transform this area of Ipswich. It's a total win, win, win situation and I cannot go over the top enough about it.''

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