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£3m funding boost for college

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:57 22 October 2010

SUE SKINNER

A proposed satellite unit for a multi-million pound new college for West Norfolk and the Fens has received a £3m funding boost.

A proposed satellite unit for a multi-million pound new college for West Norfolk and the Fens has received a £3m funding boost.

Cambridgeshire County Council is to set aside the cash to build the vocational and adult learning centre next to the Queen's School in Wisbech.

The complex will compensate for the loss of the town's Isle College, following its merger with the College of West Anglia (CoWA) at King's Lynn and the decision to build a new £50m campus in Lynn and a £25m campus in March.

As a result of negotiations between the council and CoWA, it was agreed that there should be provision in Wisbech to meet the educational needs of 14-19 year olds; offer vocational and further education opportunities for Meadowgate special school in Wisbech in a mainstream setting; address skills shortages; and to contribute to the regeneration of the area.

The aim is to create a high-quality, sustainable learning environment with space for 150 students.

The centre, which has been supported by the head teacher of Queen's, Stephen McKenna, and the school governors, would include workshops and classrooms, with accommodation for adult daytime teaching and learning facilities.

Jill Tuck, the council's cabinet member for inclusion, said: “I am delighted that we have agreed to commit this money to provide a learning centre for Wisbech.

“The benefits are far-reaching. It will enhance and widen educational opportunities for young people from the age of 14, while also providing essential adult education facilities during the day, off-site facilities for apprenticeship learning and further development of the vocational curriculum.”

Mrs Tuck said the centre, which will act as an offshoot of the new college, would also help the council meet its objectives for improving access to education, employment and training opportunities in north Fenland.

The two new flagship colleges are expected to involve a capital investment programme of nearly £100m.

The existing premises at CoWA, which is expected to move to a new home on the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area at South Lynn, and the Isle will continue to be the centre of learning for the next three years.

The proposed developments will cause no disruption to students and there are hopes that the new buildings will be completed and occupied by September, 2009.


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