Craven College wins grant for £6m extension

Craven Herald: An artist’s impression of the new building An artist’s impression of the new building

A government grant should allow Craven College to embark on a £6.2 million building project at its Aireville campus in Skipton.

It will be the second major scheme at the Gargrave Road site in two years.

If approved, the college is hoping its latest plans will allow it to take on an extra 135 students over three years as well as 75 fully-employed apprentices.

The project – which has to be finished by August 2015 – is being partially funded by a £2 million grant from the Skills Funding Agency (SFA), with the remainder coming from college’s own resources.

“I am delighted the college has been successful in its bid for capital funds to allow it to continue to invest in modern and up to date facilities for students and staff to ensure the college continues to provide the best possible education and training now and in the future,” said principal Robert Bellfield.

The work will include a new 1,300 sq metre building for construction crafts and engineering, with workshops for joinery, plastering, brickwork, painting and decorating and engineering, and the refurbishment of the Aireville hub building to provide a classroom, fitness suite and sports laboratory.

The increased space will enable more of the curriculum to be taught on campus rather than in external rented facilities.

The Whernside building will be reclad and refurbished to house a range of student services, including main reception, admissions, student support services, a shop, social space, learning resource centre and enterprise hub.

And work will be carried out on the Ingleborough Building to enhance its thermal performance.

All the proposals are subject to planning permission.

Skipton MP Julian Smith – who, in 2011, officially opened the college’s £3 million Pen-y-ghent building with its 20 classrooms and state of the art science block – welcomed the Government’s latest investment.

He said: “I am delighted the Government has once again recognised the important role which Craven College plays in this area providing education, apprenticeships and training to thousands of people.

“This £2 million investment, matched by £4 million of private funding, will allow the college to continue to modernise and update their facilities.

“With the successful completion of the stunning Pen-y-ghent building in 2011, the college has shown it can complete major projects on time and on budget which is why I, along with the Government, continue to support their plans for the future.”

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