MP backs £23m college site move after funding setback

Mark Branagan

AN MP is helping East Riding College to keep a scheme for a 23m new campus on track following a major funding blow.

The college has been seeking other ways of financing the relocation of the Beverley campus of East Riding College since hopes of millions of pounds of Government funding were dashed last summer.

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The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) announced a shortlist of 13 colleges across the country which would receive capital funding for new buildings – not including East Riding College.

The proposed 23m relocation from Gallows Lane to a new purpose-built campus is a key element in the planned redevelopment of Beverley’s huge Flemingate site, which also includes a hotel, shops, housing and a multi-storey car park.

The college had hoped to receive millions of pounds in LSC funding for the planned relocation, which would also be part financed by the sale of its existing site.

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart has met college principal Derek Branton and John Doris, director of resources, about the project.

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Mr Stuart underlined the benefits of the scheme to move the college from its cramped location in Gallows Lane, Beverley, to Flemingate. He said: “The new site would also be closer to vital transport links, allowing better access for students.

“Following the fiasco of the Learning and Skills Council effectively pulling the funding rug from under the college, a lot of work has been done to try and keep the project alive.

“I am keen to keep abreast of developments and make sure I can give whatever help I possibly can. The current site is not fit for purpose and needs to be replaced.

“It is vital this building programme can go ahead so we must continue to look for new and alternative ways of funding it.”

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He said the new campus would serve isolated rural communities – the East Riding is the largest single unitary authority area in the country.

The college says it believes very strongly that the scheme will have a major impact on learning and regeneration in the area and will continue to work with East Riding Council and the developers to look at alternative sources of funding.