King’s Lynn college in �10m revamp for tower block

College of West Anglia unveils latest plans in massive �28m upgrade for its Lynn and Wisbech sites.

King's Lynn's College of West Anglia has submitted plans for a �10m refurbishment of its landmark tower block.

The tallest occupied building in West Norfolk has dominated the skyline of King's Lynn for more than 40 years, but is in need of major work to bring it up to modern standards.

The plan includes the replacement of all the windows, re-cladding the exterior and building an extension to the ground floor for a new student restaurant and social area.

The college is spending a total of �28m on its sites at Lynn and Isle, in Wisbech, with a new technology block at each campus and a variety of other changes and refurbishments. The �10m bill for the tower block is being helped by a �2m grant from the Skills Funding Agency.

Principal David Pomfret said: 'The tower block is a major facility for the college and the local community. Whilst we are working to a very tight budget, I believe the plans are exciting and will provide excellent educational facilities for years to come. We are very keen for the local community to see what we are proposing to do and I look forward to receiving their views.'

The 9,000sqm nine-storey block is the largest educational building in the region, but it has been empty since September. The structure needs to have asbestos removed and the lifts upgraded and it wasn't practical to undertake the work in a piecemeal fashion. Students were moved out at the end of the last academic year ready for the major refit.

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The internal works will include complete new floor layouts as well as new heating, lighting and lift systems and the project is expected to be completed by summer 2013.

The college will be holding a public consultation and feedback session on Tuesday, March 20, from 4.30pm to 7pm in the main reception area.

Members of the public can view the plans, ask questions and comment on the proposals.

The redevelopment is a key aspect of the college's wider accommodation strategy, which will also see brand new technology centres on both the King's Lynn campus, opening September, and the Isle campus in Wisbech which is expected to be completed for Easter 2013.

The opening of the refurbished tower block in summer 2013 will also enable the college to move out of a range of temporary accommodation.

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