Petroc secures multi-million pound funding bid

The planned lifestyle building.

The planned lifestyle building. - Credit: Archant

Gazette can reveal the Petroc Barnstaple campus will transform its engineering block and create a new lifestyle building.

The planned lifestyle building.

The planned lifestyle building. - Credit: Archant

PETROC in Barnstaple has secured a multi-million bid to transform the parts of its North Devon Campus.

The planned lifestyle building.

The planned lifestyle building. - Credit: Archant

The Gazette can reveal the project, which will be subject to planning approval, will begin in April next year and is due to be completed by September 2015.

This investment in college estates forms the third and fourth rounds of the College Capital Investment Fund (CCIF), through which £550 million is being made available from central government.

Plans include brand new working environments for engineering, manufacturing, motor vehicle, lifestyle, tourism, hairdressing, beauty therapy and hospitality students.

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This building will include high-tech CAD facilities, electronics design and assembly, a fabrication and welding workshop, CNC and manual machining and a bench fitting workshop.

There will also a new lifestyle and tourism centre built to replace the college’s 62-year-old B Block for the hospitality, lifestyle and tourism sectors.

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The proposals include state of the art walk-in salons and a glass fronted restaurant with views across Barnstaple and the Taw Valley.

The design is still being finalised and will be subject to public consultation but is expected to be a three-storey building with a smaller footprint than the existing B Block.

Craig Litster, head of the school of business, manufacturing and transport, added: “We have a hugely successful engineering provision here at Petroc and have great working partnerships with a number of large and specialist employers in the area - the new facilities will celebrate this.

“It will also enable our students to gain valuable employability skills, thanks to the installation of highly specialised vocational resources.”

Neil Hookway, director for resources, added: “We are delighted to be able to continue developing our estate to support the delivery of excellent teaching and learning, while improving the performance and efficiency of our campus.

“We recognise and highly value the importance of investing in the local community and the new facilities will be specifically designed to meet local training needs.

“The project will provide an inspirational learning environment for our students and help prepare them for onward progression into employment.

“In addition, this facility will enhance students’ opportunities to regularly engage with customers and employers.”

The college is working with local architectural practice Mears Architects and, in line with the college’s estates strategy, will be accessing a local supply chain throughout the project.

This investment follows the recent redevelopment of other parts of the North Devon Campus, including the transformation of the college’s C Block into an energy efficient, multi-functional learning centre, the installation of a new fitness suite and the building of a bespoke facility for supported learning students.

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