Workmen to start building �5.5m technology block at College of West Anglia’s King’s Lynn site

The roar of mechanical diggers will echo around the College of West Anglia's King's Lynn campus today as work starts on a multi-million pound project.

College principal David Pomfret has told the EDP the foundations for the college's new �5.5m technology building will be dug this week with the steel structure taking shape quickly.

West Norfolk council, Norfolk County Council and the Schools Funding Agency have put around �4m into the new technology block, with the college finding the remainder of the money.

Mr Pomfret said: 'The new technology centre will enable us to meet the needs of the engineering and manufacturing businesses which are so critical to our local economy.

'I'm delighted that we are able to bring such fantastic new facilities to West Norfolk. This investment demonstrates our commitment to realising our ambitious accommodation improvement plans.'

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The new block will accommodate students studying engineering, welding, electrical installation, electronics and joinery when it opens in 2012.

The arrival of the workmen today comes after a handful of invited guests, including West Norfolk mayor Colin Sampson, attended a turf cutting ceremony at the site on Wednesday.

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Following the ceremony, Peter Dixon, chair of governors at the college, told the EDP: 'This new technology block is a major step forward for the college.

'After a period of disappointment for the college on the funding front, we can now move forward and I am delighted to be here at the ceremony.'

Mayor Colin Sampson added: 'The borough council is proud to be associated with the college. These are indeed exciting times for both the borough and education within it.'

Contractors are also due to being removing asbestos, as part of an �8m refurbishment of the 1970s tower block at the college's Tennyson Avenue site.

This means that hundreds of students who would normally be taught in the block will be moved into a temporary campus at Marsh Lane, in Gaywood.

Four hundred students on health, case and childhood studies courses will be taught at the former Alderman Jackson School.

Free shuttle buses will be running daily between the main CoWA campus, in Tennyson Avenue, and Marsh Lane.

Norfolk Green buses will also be stopping at the junction of Marsh Lane and Gaywood Road, to drop off and pick up students.

A further 200 from the sports faculty will be moving to new teaching accommodation which has been built at Lynnsport.

Sports facilities at the college are being converted into library and teaching accommodation. Temporary classrooms have also been built on site.

Mr Pomfret said work on both the tower and the new engineering block were expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2012 - 13 academic year.

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