Central Beds College has announced plans to give its Dunstable campus an “inspirational” facelift thanks to £9million of Government funding.
The money, a grant from the Skills Funding Agency, will go towards the Kingsway college’s £15.3million rebuilding project. Plans to build a “welcoming” glass-fronted learning hub building allow for a 24/7 fully wifi-enabled library to be built across the whole of the top floor.
Principal Ali Hadawi said: “By awarding this grant, the agency is expressing its confidence in the college.
“This is a huge milestone. This was the work of a hardworking team and we should all be proud of our efforts.
“One thing that is make or break for any society is the strength of educational training. We believe we can be the hub for both young people and grown-ups. We want to be an inspirational place.”
When completed, the campus will be cheaper to heat and maintain, due to the way space, windows and light are utilised.
Architect Luke Baker said: “We want to make the college a destination, and we want the building to say ‘come in’.
“The new facade will be three storeys, marginally lower than the current one. This will give it a presence while still being on a personal scale.”
There will be new areas for subjects including hair and beauty, catering, engineering and digital media.
Councillor Nigel Young played an important part in securing the funds, submitting a letter of recommendation to the agency.
He said: “We’ve opened up Dunstable. This area is the ‘cultural corner’ of the town, and the college will be the focal point at the end of Court Drive.”
Some of the extra funds required for the project will be raised from the sale of unused land to the rear of the building.
Demolition work is scheduled to start over Christmas, with building work expected to begin in early 2014.
The deadline for the project is September 1, 2015.
Mr Hadawi added: “It’s an ambitious target but we’re confident.”
For more information, visit www.centralbeds.ac.uk.