Flagship college for county a step closer

This is what the Norfolk University Technical College building could look like

This is what the Norfolk University Technical College building could look like - Credit: Archant

A flagship college for Norfolk to be built on the site of a former factory in south Norwich has been backed by a broad range of employers and students as part of a consultation carried out ahead of the plans being submitted.

Subject to planning consent, the Norfolk University Technical College is due to open at Yarefield Park in Old Hall Road, between Hall Road and Ipswich Road, in September 2014 and will cater for 600 14 to 19-year-olds focusing on the engineering, energy, and advanced manufacturing industries.

A consultation was carried out earlier this year by the Transforming Education in Norfolk (TEN) Group as the UTC's lead sponsor.

The TEN group, together with the UEA and employer partners, is seeking detailed planning permission from Norwich City Council to transform the former Connaught House building into a state of the art learning environment. Plans include proposed tower and window extensions, and new bus and cycle facilities.

The consultation included open public meetings at St Andrew's House and Tuckswood Primary School, and comments received were overwhelmingly supportive, with many people citing the positive benefits of the location and the impact of bringing a redundant commercial building back into economic use. Others highlighted the positive benefits for the region in providing skilled people ready to take their place in growth sectors supporting the economic health of the area.

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Dick Palmer, Group Chief Executive, TEN group, said: 'The sponsors of UTC Norfolk have been pleased and greatly encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response to our plans – both for the educational vision of an employer-endorsed curriculum that will meet a vital regional skills need, in advanced engineering and energy skills, and also in terms of the detailed plans for the transformation of the site.

'While this phase of statutory consultation has now been concluded, the directors and sponsors of UTC Norfolk are open at all times to suggestions and feedback from the community, employers, parents and others, as we work together to create a really exciting, transformational learning institution for energy and advanced engineering of which we can all be proud.'

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The plans for UTC Norfolk were part of the wave of UTC proposals given the go-ahead by the Schools Minister in May last year.

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