GOVERNORS at Calderdale College have approved plans for a £6.6m redevelopment, it was announced today.
The college in Halifax – which draws many of its students from the Huddersfield area – has unveiled a multi-million pound scheme after its previous building programme was cancelled.
The first scheme was scuppered when the Learning and Skills Council’s funding programme became oversubscribed with applications for grants from colleges across the country.
Calderdale College said it has independently secured finance of £6.6m for phase one of the new proposals, which includes a sports hall, fitness suite, dance studio and all-weather pitch to support the college’s growing football, rugby and dance academies.
These facilities will also be available for community use.
There will be new entrances for the buildings on the west side of Francis Street and the main Percival Whitley building on the east side, as well as partial refurbishment of the ground-floor and redecoration throughout.
College principal Chris Jones said: “Funding is already in place for phase one and we are confident that – if approved – these proposals will provide Calderdale with enhanced facilities for learning and the development of skills.
“The proposals will make efficient use of resources and will also provide for the growing numbers of students choosing to participate in learning.
“This is a forward-looking, progressive and flexible plan which, if approved, will provide a fantastic new facility for the people of Calderdale.” The second phase – for which the college is still seeking finance but which will go through for planning consent with phase one – would be a new three-storey teaching block and IT learning resource centre alongside the new sports hall.
Longer term plans could include a new construction centre and full refurbishment of the Percival Whitley building.
Phase one is expected to take a year to complete, but the college said disruption to teaching would be minimal. The college has appointed award-winning architects Jefferson Sheard and Ripponden-based Stephen Byrne Associates as project managers.
The new plans will be presented at a community consultation event from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday at the college.
They will then be submitted to Calderdale Council’s planning committee while awaiting final approval from the Learning and Skills Council. Calderdale College has more than 5,000 students at sites throughout the district, including the Mark Riley Hair Academy in Brighouse. It also works with more than 800 companies across West Yorkshire.
Nearly 200 colleges had to reapply for funding to the LSC after it ran out of money.
In the event, only 13 schemes were approved for LSC funding. They included plans for a £70m campus for Kirklees College at the Waterfront Quarter in Huddersfield.