Work has started on the redevelopment of Wiltshire College & University Centre’s Salisbury Campus.
The project is part of over £24m of investment secured by the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) to increase Further and Higher Education provision at The College.
The investment was made possible through the SWLEP’s Growth Deal with Central Government – this has funded a variety of projects across Swindon and Wiltshire through SWLEP competitively bidding for £169m from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, also leveraging a further £354 million of match funding from the private and public sector.
More than £14 million will be spent on refurbishment and a new building to transform the Salisbury Campus, starting with work on recladding exterior walls that are remaining, along with internal conversion work.
The next stage of the project in June 2019 will be the development of a new building at the centre of the campus to replace some of the existing buildings.
John Mortimer, chairman of the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Enabling businesses to have an appropriately skilled and competitive workforce to support growth, innovation and creativity remains an investment priority for the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.
"We have committed to providing better Further and Higher Education provision by 2021 and I am delighted to see the first of our projects in Salisbury getting started.”
Additional to the work at the Salisbury Campus, over £9 million is also being invested at The College’s Lackham Campus to build a new Agricultural Technology Centre, the development of a higher education centre, and the installation of a state of the art milking parlour.
The redevelopment work on both campuses will be completed by 2020.
Amanda Burnside, principal at Wiltshire College & University Centre, said: “It’s fantastic that work is finally starting on this exciting project, which will be an important part of addressing some of the higher-level skills gaps in Swindon and Wiltshire and particularly in the Salisbury area.
"The campus project will see the launch of new courses including six foundation degrees in the life sciences including Biomedical Science, Pharmaceuticals and Health and Nutrition as well as higher level courses and apprenticeships in advanced engineering.”
As well as the investment in Wiltshire College, the SWLEP has also supported a £17 million bid for an Institute of Technology which is one of 16 across the country to reach the final round.
The lead partner is Swindon College, working with other colleges, universities and employers. Work is also underway on a multi-campus business led university which was identified as a priority in our recently published Higher Education Strategy.
Local growth minister Jake Berry MP said: “We’re committed to boosting economic growth across the whole of the UK and building a Britain fit for the future.
"It is wonderful to see this project get underway.
"The £14m investment from the Local Growth Fund to develop Wiltshire College’s campuses at Salisbury and Lackham will benefit the whole of Swindon and Wiltshire by enabling students to develop the skills needed for high-value jobs in these state-of-the art facilities.”