Agree­ment reached on new home for col­lege

Ash­ford: Brook­lands set to move to Thomas Knyvett

Surrey Herald/News - - NEWS - By Matt Strud­wick

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.”

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