College of West Anglia’s Isle campus changes shape in redevelopment project

PUBLISHED: 12:15 16 October 2012

Picture: Ian Burt

Picture: Ian Burt

Archant © 2012

Redevelopment of Ramnoth Road site on target for Easter opening

A multi-million pound investment in a Fenland college campus is taking shape and will be ready to welcome students from Easter 2013.

The Isle Campus of the College of West Anglia is being transformed with £6.5m of investment from both Fenland District and Cambridgeshire County councils and is barely recognisable from a few months ago.

Teaching blocks are being refurbished or demolished and replaced in the biggest overhaul of the college for decades.

“If you looked at a 1950s frontage, you would think we were out of date but now we have got rid of that and the college is changing hugely,” said Mark Reavell, executive director for partnerships and estates.

The college will be aiming to teach students the skills needed by local employers and Mr Reavell said the focus was very much on local industry.

“Local employers are looking for a range of skills from engineering, electrical installations and motor technology. We want to provide better skills for students of all ages in those areas,” he said.

No new jobs will be created immediately at the college as a result of the new-look but Mr Reavell said it was hoped more students would be attracted to the campus which would have to grow accordingly.

“People under-estimate how much is going on here and we want local people to respond. We are working with schools and employers across the area. The Wisbech site is for the whole of Fenland,” he added.

“We are really committed to staying in Wisbech and providing the best facilities.” The college’s other site in the town, off Elm High Road, has closed and part of the site is currently in the process of being sold.

Mr Reavell said funding from the sale would help add further improvements to the Isle campus where other old teaching areas would be moth-balled awaiting funding for demolition and replacement.

The county council will also have new offices at the Ramnoth Road site as part of its investment in the college’s future.

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