Grantham College reveals £52 million master plan

Grantham College principal Linda Houtby stands outside the run-down Stonebridge House in Grantham. ENGEMN00120121024092207
Grantham College principal Linda Houtby stands outside the run-down Stonebridge House in Grantham. ENGEMN00120121024092207
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Grantham College has revealed a master plan which will see its three sites redeveloped at a cost of £52 million.

The college has applied for planning permission to demolish a number of modern buildings next to Stonebridge House, on the former police station site.

The college hopes to build a new campus on this site around the listed Stonebridge House, which it already has permission to transform into an administrative block. It has received £500,000 to refurbish the listed building.

College principal Linda Houtby said work had been ongoing on the ‘master plan’ for 18 months and it will take up to 15 years to acquire all the necessary funding.

She said: “It has been a long journey and very exciting. This will be good for Grantham College but also good for the town of Grantham. We want to offer high quality local education so that people can study in higher education on their doorstep.”

The college is hoping that it will get a slice of a £50 million package after a bid was made by the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for funding from the Government for 12 major projects in the county. The LEP has identified the college and the east-west bypass as two local projects it wants to support. A successful bid could help create 43 jobs at the college.

Mrs Houtby said the college needed £3.4 million to redevelop the Stonebridge House site and if the LEP was successful in its bid then the funds would become available in September 2015.

She said the new buildings on the site would house the business curriculum, IT and computing, media and music technology. The college aims to increase its enterprise projects and play its part in boosting business in Grantham. It already supports 1,000 apprentices in the area and Mrs Houtby said the college supports local employers by “upskilling” employees and the unemployed.

Ruth Carver, Manager of the Greater Lincolnshire LEP, said: “Our programme of growth requires capital investment in skills. Investment into Grantham College will strengthen the vocational and higher level skills that are offered to the local business community, as well as create 43 new jobs and assist 300 businesses.”

A spokesman for planning consultants RG+P Ltd said: “Put simply, the college needs room to function more efficiently and effectively for its students, staff, visitors, and the town in general. This essentially means providing new buildings, but in a way that creates more open space within the campus and removes the dominance of the car in those spaces. It is for this purpose that the Stonebridge site was acquired in 2012. It occupies an ideal position immediately adjacent to the main campus and has the room to provide new buildings that would enable the regeneration of the main campus over time. The application presents a masterplan for how the three sites might be developed over several years, potentially decades.”