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Financiers ready to back Brighton and Hove City College development
The major redevelopment of City College Brighton and Hove is back on track after financial backers stepped in to save the scheme. This week the college will unveil its latest plans for a multimillion pound scheme to transform the college.
Earlier this year it shelved a scheme to build a new 11,800 square metre building on the site of a car park at its current headquarters in Pelham Street.
The college also wanted to demolish the existing tower and replace it with accommodation for up to 600 students. The plans fell through when banks pulled out. Now college bosses say the £73 million proposals will be largely funded by a major annuity fund, with the balance needed provided by the proceeds of sale from surplus sites.
Some short-term finance will be provided by a commercial bank. The college says the plans will create 124 construction jobs and generate up to £1 million in local spending.
In 2009 the college’s bid to create a large underground car park at the Pelham Street site was rejected by planners. Redevelopment plans for the college also suffered a setback when the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) rejected an application for funding despite large parts of the project having been approved in principle by Brighton and Hove City Council.
City College principal Lynn Thackway said: “Our aim is to be an outstanding and responsive college at the heart of learning in Brighton and Hove with a commitment to continuous quality improvement. “This means delivering vocational and professional learning, skills and apprenticeship opportunities in accommodation that is fit for purpose and our proposals for the redevelopment of our Pelham Street campus will help us meet this vision, as well as contributing to the economic and social well-being of the city.
“We also want to review our Wilson Avenue site for phase two of development, so would welcome ideas on the college development as a whole.”
The exhibition will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday. A planning application is expected to be put to the city council next month.