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Plans for ‘state of the art’ construction college building
Monday 7th January 2019 @ 13:40 by Lauren Entwistle
Ashton Tameside

Students would be able to learn construction and trade skills in a ‘state of the art’ college building in Tameside under new plans submitted to the town hall.

By Charlotte Green, local democracy reporter.

Proposals have been lodged with the council to demolish existing ‘poor quality’ buildings on the original Ashton-under-Lyne site and replace them with a brand new ‘construction skills centre’

The building would able to accommodate the majority of trade workshops under one roof, which are currently split across different buildings at the Beaufort Road campus.

A design and access statement on behalf of the college states that the current teaching accommodation is ‘very poor’ and the site suffers from issues with security, and people having difficulty finding their way around.

The two-storey skills centre would be the first step of a masterplan by the college to replace the older buildings with ‘high quality’ facilities.

It is intended to coincide with the completion of the new Advanced Skills Centre – part of the Vision Tameside development – in the town centre, which would see less students using the Beaufort Road campus.

“The new building aims to take a number of construction trade courses located across the site and accommodate these in a new state of the art facility,” the report by 10architect states.

“This will allow the existing disjointed site layout to be rationalised and allow for greater access control and campus connectivity.”

An initial response from Martyn Leigh, the council’s development manager indicated that the town hall would not oppose the plans.

“I have no reason to suggest that the local planning authority would be unable to support the principle of the proposed development,” Mr Leigh wrote.

However he said that the colour scheme and cladding materials would need ‘careful consideration’ to make sure the new building complimented the surroundings.

The construction skills centre would cover 2,749sqm, and would link to the Victoria building through a mezzanine.

It is intended to form part of the ‘focal point’ of the college from Beaufort Road, and will house the construction department, consisting of carpentry and joinery, painting and decorating, electrical, plumbing and gas.

There would also be associated stores, welfare facilities and plant room provision.

Alongside the new construction block, the report states that the college would need to relocate the existing Refectory to an area of the ground and first floor of the Victoria Building.

The college, which can have more than 4,000 pupils on its courses, was rated ‘good’ by Ofsted in April last year.