Plans for a new ‘state of the art’ £9m college building for students to learn the tools of the construction trade have been given the green light.
Tameside College has been given permission to demolish existing ‘poor quality’ buildings on the original Ashton-under-Lyne site and replace them with a brand new ‘construction skills centre’.
The project has been backed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority which last April agreed to invest £3.3m in its development – a third of the total cost.
Some £71m has been earmarked by the combined authority for investment into skills between 2017 and 2021.
At a meeting last Wednesday morning, the borough’s planning committee unanimously backed the plans.
The new building will be able to house the majority of trade workshops under one roof, which are currently split across different buildings at the Beaufort Road campus.
These consist of carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, electrical, plumbing and gas departments.
The officer report recommending approval of the application states that the intention is for the site to become the ‘primary focus’ for technical skills.
“Overall, it is considered the proposed design and its use of high quality materials as indicated will enhance the area by significantly regenerating the site,” it adds.
“This in turn would have a very positive benefit upon the character and appearance of the campus.
“It also considered that the proposal would contribute significantly towards the regeneration of the Beaufort Road campus creating a modern teaching and learning environment for future students.
“The development is aligned with council’s economic and social aspirations of raising attainment within the borough and will contribute directly to the Vision Tameside strategy.”
The two-storey skills centre is the first step of the college’s master plan to replace the older buildings with ‘high quality’ facilities.
The buildings to be demolished are the Portland building, refectory, Elysium, and Ryecroft.
It is intended to coincide with the completion of the new Advanced Skills Centre – part of the Vision Tameside development – in the town centre, which would see fewer students using the Beaufort Road campus.
The construction skills centre would cover 2,749sqm, and would link to the Victoria building through a mezzanine.