College’s plan for sixth form centre given funding boost

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Barnsley College has announced plans to build a £16 million sixth form centre – which will create places for a third more students than at present.

Some of the funding for the project will be covered by a £5.3 million Government grant.

The new facility will replace current sixth-form buildings on the college’s Eastgate site and be capable of accommodating 1,200 students – 300 more than the current 900.

Barnsley College Principal Colin Booth said: “The college is delighted with the funding.”

Mr Booth said the college aims to choose a site by September and start building work next year.

Three locations owned by the college or Barnsley Council are under consideration, with one possibility being a row of empty shops on Shambles Street in the town centre.

The derelict building is currently considered an ‘eyesore’ on a major gateway to the town centre.

The second possible site is land on County Way, which is next to the town’s Digital Media Centre and near many existing college buildings such as the SciTech building.

And a third location, which is the furthest from the town centre, is on the old Belle Vue College site, off Cockerham Lane.

The new centre is planned to be completed by summer 2015, the college said.

Coun Sir Steve Houghton, Barnsley Council leader, said: “This is really good news for the college and for Barnsley, and we will be working closely with the college.”