£1 million revamp for college campus

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PLANS to redevelop Rotherham College of Arts and Technology have been boosted by a £1 million grant from a national body.

RCAT is the only college in the region to have received backing from the Skills Funding Agency.

It means that with extra funding pumped in by the college itself, a £3m transformation of the Town Centre campus will be completed by next September.

The development will add to the facilities provided by the new £7m Wentworth Building which opened last year.

The college had planned a major refurbishment of all its facilities but they were thrown into jeopardy when the plug was pulled by the main national funding agency three years ago.

Since then it has taken on instead a five phase development programme which began with the Wentworth project.

Principal and chief executive Gill Alton said the grant was fantastic news for the college, for the students and for Rotherham.

“It will be exciting to see the developments take place and to watch the college transform itself.

“We have some excellent plans in place to improve the college experience for our students.”

The new improvement plans will add further to the already highly-equipped engineering department and transform the facilities for science teaching.

There will also be new hair, beauty and nail salons and a development of the college’s learning support and foundation learning facilities.

RCAT’s chair of corporation Kenneth Barrass said: “The board are delighted with the news that the college has been successful in receiving the grant from the SFA.

“This additional development will ensure that the standard of student provision is maintained at the highest level possible.”

The college’s bid was one of 129 applications put forward nationally, with 46 successful.

As part of the criteria, bids needed to show that projects would achieve high levels of environmental performance and demonstrate a high standard of design.