A MULTI-MILLION pound college headquarters has been given the green light after a bidding war for Government funding.
A relieved West Cheshire College has learned it will receive crucial cash from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to transform its Chester and Ellesmere Port campuses. The new buildings should be ready for the 2010-11 term.
With a rotunda as big as Liverpool’s Catholic cathedral, the Ellesmere Port campus on Regent Street will become the headquarters, with training in creative and service industries.
Principal Sara Mogel said: “After a long and anxious wait we are both delighted and relieved.
“This is excellent news for the individuals, businesses and communities of West Cheshire.”
The college was one of 13, out of a total of 180 projects, given the go-ahead on Friday to move forward with its £73m redevelopment programme.
After the LSC said colleges must make cost reductions to their initial plans to qualify, Ms Mogel insisted there will be no impact on the plans.
Work stopped on the site weeks ago amid fears about future funding, and Ms Mogel hinted at the chaos the project could have been thrown into had the bid been unsuccessful.
“If we were one of the 167, I know how devastating that would be for us.
“We are extremely grateful for the tremendous support from our MPs, Christine Russell and Andrew Miller, who have raised our case at the highest level in Government.”
Ms Mogel, who ensured by negotiation that 45 apprentices will work on the site, added: “It will bring in jobs: in human resources, finance, marketing, and people who look after property for us.”
Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Andrew Miller said: “It is absolutely vital not just for the work the college is doing with its students but also with Cheshire Oaks Retail Academy and with Vauxhall Motors.”