Doncaster college hoping to go ahead with expansion plan

Doncaster Deaf School
Doncaster Deaf School
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BOSSES at Doncaster Deaf Trust are hoping to move ahead with scaled-down plans to expand their site and create new jobs.

Proposals had initially been draw-up for a £17.5 million development at the Leger Way site - but now a smaller scheme has been produced after the economic downturn made it difficult to raise the cash.

Pictured (L-R) are Bobbie Roberts, Chair of Trustees at Doncaster Deaf Trust, Davina Middleton, who is celebrating 25 years service, and Principal Alan Robinson.

Pictured (L-R) are Bobbie Roberts, Chair of Trustees at Doncaster Deaf Trust, Davina Middleton, who is celebrating 25 years service, and Principal Alan Robinson.

The scheme will see a social enterprise centre built which would offer vocational training for its students and for other disabled youngsters.

Talks are still going on to try to finalise the details.

College Principal, Alan Robinson, said: “We have a fairly major project on at the moment and, if all goes well, we are hoping to be able to make an announcement soon.

“It has been scaled back from the original plan and is very much based around working with employers and having work placements.

“We are now looking at a £3.2 million scheme.

“It is something that could really benefit Doncaster in the future. It will be good for the students and for the people engaged in the training.

“We have big aspirations and we know where we want to go.”

He estimated the scheme would create around 40 jobs in total, both for students and for people working at the centre.

The jobs are expected to be office-based posts.

The trust is also looking at creating facilities for young people with autism as part of its plans.

Proposals to develop the site’s role follow a glowing report on Doncaster College for the Deaf’s social care operations from Ofsted last week, which rated the college as ‘excellent’, an improvement of its previous report which has graded it as ‘good’. The college is run by the trust.

At present it has 114 deaf pupils, who come to the site near Doncaster Racecourse from all over the country and beyond. It has previously had students from as far afield as Egypt.

The college was established in 1829 and has been on its current site ever since.

Its original expansion plans had included and accommodation block, and new sports facilities.

The scale of the plans attracted protests from people living in the Town Moor area, who set up the Town Moor Action Group complaining that the plans did not fit in with a conservation area.