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£10m teaching block for Witney college approved
COUNCILLORS have given the go-ahead for a £10m redevelopment of Witney’s college campus.
Abingdon & Witney College has received planning permission from West Oxfordshire District Council to build two new teaching blocks at the Welch Way site.
It will involve knocking down the former Witney Magistrates’ Court, which the college has been using for several years, and a number of temporary buildings.
The replacement building will provide 18 classrooms, six computer suites and a construction workshop for the college, replacing a number of temporary buildings.
The college expects to receive £8.7m for the scheme from the Government’s Skills Funding Agency.
The college’s initial redevelopment plans were halted in 2009 when the Learning and Skills Council ran out of money and was unable to fund a £28m scheme.
In 2012, £7.4m was spent on construction of one new building and the modernisation of two others.
Project manager Michael Chiyasa said: “The college is delighted by the council’s decision to approve its planning application.
“This is a key milestone, which means that we can now proceed with the project.
He added: “We are now intending to start on site very soon after Easter and the project is scheduled to be completed at the end of August 2015, in time for the beginning of the 2015-16 academic year.”
The college has two other campuses in West Oxfordshire, at Common Leys Farm, near Hailey, where rural and equestrian courses are taught, and the Avenue One construction training centre, off Station Lane, in Witney.
Witney Town Council also backed the college’s plan but it will request funding linked to the development to pay for the provision of an extra lane at the traffic lights at the junction of Welch Way and Woodford Way.
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