Construction college plan approved
A �26m project to create 'world-class' facilities at Europe's largest construction college has been given the green light.New classrooms, en-suite accommodation, a restaurant, shop and sports centre are to be built on the National Construction College site at Bircham Newton after planning permission was granted for the overhaul.
A �26m project to create "world-class" facilities at Europe's largest construction college has been given the green light.
New classrooms, en-suite accommodation, a restaurant, shop and sports centre are to be built on the National Construction College site at Bircham Newton after planning permission was granted for the overhaul.
The public will be able to use the new sports facilities and people living in the village will have access to a new local shop.
Work is set to start this summer on the 450-acre site and the new facilities should be unveiled in 2011.
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The redevelopment had hit problems after plans for some 240 homes near the site to help fund the multi-million-pound scheme were thrown out.
A scaled-down plan for the land was later approved and the development has now secured 80pc of the funding for the scheme from the Learning Skills Council (LSC).
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Former RAF Bircham Newton has been home to the construction college since the 1960s and it is one of the largest employers in west Norfolk, providing jobs for about 500 people.
More than 5,000 apprentices and adult learners are trained at the site each year - and that is set to increase when the new college is complete.
A spokesman for ConstructionSkills, skills council for the construction industry, said: "The redevelopment is essential to help meet demand for construction workers and to allow the college to provide additional places for apprentices and adult learners."
Andy Walder, director of
the National Construction College, said: "We greatly look forward to delivering the redevelopment, which will benefit the industry, individuals and the local community.
"The final key step is now to take detailed plans to the LSC in March to release the funding to allow work to start on site this summer."