College to undergo £25m revamp

EDUCATION chiefs are planning a major rebuild of one of the region's key further education colleges.Colchester Institute principal Danny Clough wants to knock down six buildings at the Sheepen Road campus and replace them with a state-of-the-art college.

By Juliette Maxam

EDUCATION chiefs are planning a major rebuild of one of the region's key further education colleges.

Colchester Institute principal Danny Clough wants to knock down six buildings at the Sheepen Road campus and replace them with a state-of-the-art college.

The £25million proposal came from initial research into refurbishing classrooms and workshops in the buildings which date from the 1950s to 1980s.


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Bosses at the Institute decided to plump for fullscale rebuilding when the Government announced a £350million plan to boost further education facilities across the country.

The whole of the college would be rebuilt apart from the catering centre which was opened three years ago.

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Colchester Institute marketing manager Kati Vardon said: "The idea is that students get to have 21st Century facilities."

She said the Institute was first considering a refurbishment programme, but the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) asked them to look at a rebuilding project instead.

"The LSC want us to take that programme through in the next three years, in the period from academic years 2006 to 2009," she said.

Plans for the new-look college have been sent to the LSC, which will decide whether to give the Institute a grant for the project.

"We are hoping and expecting to hear back from the LSC this month," said Ms Vardon.

Colchester Institute, which has 14,000 students, is the largest college in Essex, focussing on providing vocational and training opportunities.

Departments at the Institute include construction, engineering, hairdressing and beauty, health and care and hospitality and food studies.

The college offers GCSE, vocational courses and higher education but axed A-level course five years ago.

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