A SIGNIFICANT part of the £11.5 million investment in the College of West Anglia has been given the green light by Councillors this week.
The development at the Wisbech site, which consists of a new technology block to help youngsters learn about engineering, also includes a new office facility.
It is the planning application for office facility which was approved by Members of the Development Control Committee at Cambridgeshire County Council.
The new offices will be used by Cambridgeshire County Council, including the Children’s and Young People’s Service as well as other partner organisations. It will complement the new technology block which already has planning permission to help give youngsters much needed and sought after engineering and design skills to ultimately improve the local economy.
Construction on the office building will begin in the New Year and is due for completion in April 2013 and will greatly improve the facilities currently available to the public. The Council will relocate from poorer, unsuitable and ‘unfit for purpose’ buildings in Stermyn Street, Churchill Road and the Queen Mary Centre.
As the properties at Stermyn Street and Churchill Road are currently leased, the Council should benefit from revenue savings from moving from three properties to a single property. The opportunity to provide space for other organisations should also provide the Council with an income stream, in addition to the benefits of closer partnership working.
Plans for the future of the Queen Mary Centre are still being discussed but there will be a full consultation with the public.
Cambridgeshire County Council has provided Fenland District Council, who are investing £1.5 million in the site, support and assurances to allow the agreement to go ahead. The investment in the site, will help to guarantee the future of the College of West Anglia in Wisbech.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor Steve Count, Cabinet Member for Resources and Performance, said: “These plans are part of a major multi-million pound investment in the future and economic prosperity of Wisbech. The whole package makes it easier for people to access our services as many of them will be under one roof while driving out savings and creating closer working with our partners. The technology block will help provide the much needed skills vital to create employment as well as reinforcing our commitment to the area. Cambridgeshire is open for business and I want all parts of the county to be able to benefit from that and a fair deal for all our communities.”