£8.95m plans for college expansion set for approval

Monday, January 27th, 2020 3:44pm

By Charlotte Green, Local Democracy Reporter @CharGreenLDR

Plans to expand Oldham College with a new multi-million pound centre for students to learn building and trade skills are set to get the green light.

Chiefs are recommending that the £8.95m proposals to build a new two-storey building at the Rochdale Road campus be given approval at a meeting of the planning committee on Tuesday night.

Town hall officers say the construction skills centre will see the number of students rise by more than 250, as well as increasing the number of apprenticeships.

The development will also see the demolition of the existing Bevan and Bronte buildings on the college campus which have been identified as ‘obsolete’ for teaching use.

The proposed 2,345 sq m teaching building will replace an existing car park near the eastern edge of the site, and will comprise of large practical areas and workshops, six classrooms and an IT room.

Designed to teach technical trades, it will include facilities for practical plumbing and electrical work as well as flexible build spaces, testing areas, mobile workbenches and breakout and showcase areas.

Joinery and external brickworks areas will also be accommodated elsewhere on site.

The total project costs are almost £9m – with more than two-thirds being funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority through a £6.95m grant, which was approved last year.

The proposal includes building replacement parking on the western edge of the site for 50 vehicles, which would compensate for the 46 spaces lost to the development of the new teaching centre.

As part of building the new block, 15 existing trees would be lost, but the college says these are to be replaced with 30 new trees around the site.

In his report, case officer Graham Smith stated: “The proposal is in the interests of the wider community by introducing improved training opportunities.

“Whilst the scheme will lose some established trees, given the increased number of replacements proposed it will not result in harm to the local environment.”

Principal of Oldham College Alun Francis said the new centre would be a vital step to addressing the future of skills.

“We’re making transformational changes to our curriculum and facilities to meet this opportunity – and this new construction centre is going to be a huge asset to Oldham as a place, to generations of learners, to local businesses and our economy,” he said.

Subject to approval this week, the project will be completed in the 2020/21 academic year.

More from Oldham Reporter

Weather

  • Fri

    8°C

  • Sat

    5°C

  • Sun

    6°C

  • Mon

    5°C

  • Tue

    6°C

Recently Played