College unveils £30m pioneering blueprint
HUNTINGDONSHIRE Regional College is planning to spend up to £30million in the next three years on state-of-the-art buildings in Huntingdon and St Neots. Work is planned to start next year and the buildings should be up and running in 2010. The new Hunting
HUNTINGDONSHIRE Regional College is planning to spend up to £30million in the next three years on state-of-the-art buildings in Huntingdon and St Neots.
Work is planned to start next year and the buildings should be up and running in 2010.
The new Huntingdon base of the college would be in the Hinchingbrooke area, while the new St Neots site is being planned for Huntingdon Street in the town.
These are preferred sites - applications for planning permission are being prepared. The cost of the project has been estimated at between £25 and 30million.
The buildings will offer specialist workshops, studios, salons, kitchens and laboratories. These will include a training restaurant in St Neots, a theatre and exhibition gallery in Huntingdon and facilities for video conferencing.
The site at Hinchingbrooke will be smaller than the current site in Huntingdon but it is thought the multi-storey buildings will make better use of the land.
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The college will offer a commercial service bringing the public into the college. Hair and beauty salons are planned, as well as the theatre and an exhibition gallery for art and design. Teaching subjects will include engineering, hospitality, computing and the performing arts, ranging from basic skills to higher education.
Degree level subjects at HRC are already recognised by Anglia Ruskin University. Drama is taught by Stageworks, which currently teaches HRC's performing arts at its base in Buckden. In future, Stageworks will teach the HRC courses at the college site in Huntingdon.
College principal Anne Constantine said: "We will be working with many others in the district and county to maximise the benefits to our community, its residents and businesses."
Partners working with the regional college already include Huntingdonshire District Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the Learning and Skills Council, all Huntingdonshire secondary schools, further education and sixth form colleges in Cambridgeshire, the College of Animal Welfare and Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce. The college works with about 400 businesses in Cambridgeshire.
Detailed planning applications will be submitted over the next few months, as will an application for funding to the Learning and Skills Council.
Ms Constantine said: "We intend to create a new college that residents and civic leaders will be proud of and which will make a distinct contribution to the prosperity of the area.