New flagship university technical college for Norfolk given go-ahead

An artist's drawing of how the inside of the UTC is expected to look.

An artist's drawing of how the inside of the UTC is expected to look. - Credit: Archant

This is how the inside of a new flagship university technical college in Norwich might look.

The transformation of the 5,400 sq m former Connaught factory at Old Hall Road, between Hall Road and Ipswich Road, into a state of the art learning environment will start in the coming weeks, after University Technical College (UTC) Norfolk's plans were given the go-ahead by city planners last week.

The decision means that, from September 2014, Norfolk's 14 to 19-year-olds will be able to study at the college which will specialise in advanced engineering and energy skills.

The UTC is being sponsored by Transforming Education in Norfolk (Ten) Group, together with the UEA and employer partners, and Dick Palmer, the group's chief executive officer, said: 'This is really exciting news and paves the way for Ten Group and our partners to make a reality of the bold and exciting plans for University Technical College Norfolk.

'UTC Norfolk will provide a learning environment unlike anything we have at present in the county, with specialist facilities developed in conjunction with leading employers in the energy and engineering sectors, to provide industry standard training combined with academic excellence in science, technology, engineering and maths.

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'The UTC will provide a flexible, modern and inspiring environment for its students and applications are now being accepted for students to start with the UTC in Years 10 and 12 from September 2014.

'We have done a lot of work on the travel plan to make it as easy as possible for students to get to and from the site, and it was pleasing to have these efforts recognised by the planning committee.'

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The planning application was approved subject to minor conditions – including measures to enhance cycle routes, maximise use of the new Anglian bus route between the city centre, City College Norwich, Tuckswood and the UTC, minimise private car use, and agree the final colour of the tower.

The building will feature huge materials, testing and energy areas, as well as a state-of-the art R&D zone, a design centre, business development and collaborative learning zones, alongside more traditional learning spaces.

The plans for UTC Norfolk were part of the wave of UTC proposals given the go-ahead by the Schools Minister in May 2012.

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