Agreement reached on new home for college
Brooklands set to move to Thomas Knyvett
THE principal of Brooklands College says she hopes that a new Ashford campus building will provide ‘facilities its students deserve’ as it looks to relocate.
The sixth form in Church Road has reached an agreement with The Howard Partnership Trust to lease land at Thomas Knyvett College to build a campus building on the site.
As part of the arrangement, the new college building will include a sports hall which will also be used by students at Thomas Knyvett College, as well as relocation of the multiple use games area, which is currently on the site where the new building will be located.
Due to open in 2016, Brooklands said proposals were dependant on the sale of its site, which will finance the new building.
A buyer for the land is expected to be confirmed during the spring, with the paddock area to the rear of the building protected from development.
A new hair and beauty academy building to be built in the High Street will also form part of the agreement with a developer.
Principal and CEO of Brooklands College Maureen Kilminster said the college wanted to get the best value for the site but had not got a figure in mind. “We are really thrilled about working in partnership with Thomas Knyvett College,” she said.
“We are excited about it and our students deserve excellent facilities. But it is still business as usual and we are still expecting an intake in September.”
Mrs Kilminster said a proposed deal to sell part of its land to Morrisons, the supermarket company, fell through at the very last minute last year due to its trading position.
The college has been looking at ways of financing a new campus building since 2009 when it lost out on capital funding to modernise its facilities. Students have been working in rented cabins for the past five years.
Anne Persson, project manager of The Howard Partnership Trust, said the new sports hall would also be available for community use in the evenings.
“We are hopeful this will be the beginning of a bigger partnership between the colleges,” she said. “Now we don’t have a sixth form, I think it’s the way forward between us.”