City College Norwich’s plans to create a new campus in the centre of the city have moved closer to reality, after the city council approved the scheme.

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The college wants to turn Norfolk House, in Exchange Street, pictured, into a higher education campus, which would see about 450 students switch from the Ipswich Road buildings to the new base.

Norwich City Council’s planning committee yesterday agreed unanimously to grant a change of use application to allow the building, currently office space for companies including the Royal Bank of Scotland, for educational purposes.

The college’s higher education courses are currently split across its two existing sites at Ipswich Road – its main campus – and St Andrew’s House, which has become the focus for its business and finance courses.

But the college says the distance between the two locations has caused logistical and timetabling problems for staff and students.

Instead, it wants to base all its higher education courses at the two more central sites, creating a city centre campus for learners.

The Ipswich Road base would remain the base for workshop-based training, and freeing up the space there could mean more further education could be provided.

There are currently 1,500 full and part-time students completing higher education courses with City College in areas including health and social care, business management, creative arts, journalism, culinary arts, construction, and sports science and personal fitness training.

The building would be open from 7.30am to 10pm, Monday to Friday and from 7.30pm to 6pm on Saturdays.

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