Pounds 110m Plan to Transform Wales' Largest FE College

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), February 14, 2006 | Go to article overview

Pounds 110m Plan to Transform Wales' Largest FE College


Byline: By TRYST WILLIAMS Western Mail

Wales' largest further education college last night announced an ambitious pounds 110m scheme to revamp its six campuses. Coleg Gwent, which has campuses dotted throughout the old Gwent county area and Monmouthshire, aims to create a new motor industry training centre just off the M4 as well as building on the former Corus steelworks site at Ebbw Vale. Howard Burton, the college's principal, yesterday hailed the bold plans saying they would 'transform' the future of further education in South East Wales. 'The proposals contained in the Estates Strategy are extremely exciting and will help us achieve our vision of becoming the most successful college in the UK,' he said. 'This scheme will provide the college with first-rate facilities that can better meet expectations for what is needed to provide excellent education and training than the buildings we currently have. 'The new-look college estate will be accessible, inviting and inspiring, and will provide an environment in which learners and staff can work together effectively and efficiently.' The college has campuses at Usk, Abergavenny, Newport, Pontypool, Crosskeys and Ebbw Vale, together with two satellite IT centres in Monmouth and Cwmbran. Currently boasting 1,500 staff and 35,000 students, its famous alumni include three Manic Street Preachers, a wealth of international athletic and Welsh rugby stars, and two of television's most recognisable reality TV stars (see panel). Officials at the college say they currently have double the amount of space they actually need and that the upkeep of the college over the next 10 years would cost pounds 42m alone. As a result, the college's governing body, known as the corporation, has decided to press ahead with a strategy to improve the college's facilities and cut down on future maintenance costs. The money would be raised through internal funds, external grants from sources such as the lottery and the Assembly, and by disposing of some existing land and buildings - although none of the current campuses will close. The proposals include: A new campus on the existing Crosskeys site; A move from the current Ebbw Vale campus to the site of the former Corus steelworks; A new campus in Newport city centre, close to the current site; A new campus in Torfaen to replace the current Pontypool campus; A revamped campus in Usk using land to the west of the existing site; A new home for the college's headquarters; and A Motor Vehicle Centre at a new site next to the M4.

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Pounds 110m Plan to Transform Wales' Largest FE College
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