A COLLEGE’S £70m building programme is under way in Ellesmere Port with the arrival of massive cranes on campus.
They were needed to put a temporary teaching block into place at West Cheshire College’s site in Regent Street to prepare for the development which is due for completion in the 2010–2011 academic year.
The college’s extensive redevelopment scheme covers both its campuses here and at Handbridge, Chester, and will improve existing facilities in many curriculum areas.
However, as the lion’s share of the £70m is being invested into the Port site, college principal Sara Mogel has accepted that, as a result, the town will now become the main base.
The college intends to erect a 19,500 sq m building at the corner of Sutton Way and Regent Street boasting new classrooms, a spa, bistro, health clinic, cyber centre, virtual reality area, and a landmark four-floor rotunda.
This will make the Port a hub for the creative arts and service industries, with enhanced teaching facilities including hairdressing and beauty, hospitality and catering, visitor economy, art, design and media plus health, social care and childcare.
There will also be a new higher education centre where students can follow foundation degrees endorsed by the University of Chester.
Miss Mogel said: “After a lot of planning and consultation, we are delighted to see the beginning of this extensive project which will bring enormous benefits to the students, the communities and economies of Ellesmere Port and Chester.
“Our new campuses will build upon our already-impressive vocational achievements by offering high standards of teaching and opportunities to young people and adults.
“We are excited about the project and will work to ensure our local community is kept informed of progress throughout.”