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Suffolk New College confirms £2m windfall will be spent on new health and care campus



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Suffolk New College is investing £2m in a new health and care campus, after gaining Government cash.

The college was one of 39 sixth forms and colleges nationwide – and the only one in Suffolk – to be announced as having secured a share of the Government’s £83million Post-16 Capacity Fund.

The college has now confirmed the £1.1m windfall will be used for the new four-storey health and care teaching centre, which secured planning permission last month, topped up with its own partial match-funding for the £2m scheme.

Suffolk New College\'s recently completed and opened Tech Campus building, which the new health and care building will look similar to. Picture: JASON NOBLE LDRS (53151004)
Suffolk New College\'s recently completed and opened Tech Campus building, which the new health and care building will look similar to. Picture: JASON NOBLE LDRS (53151004)

Viv Gillespie, college principal, said: “This project represents another major step forward for us.

“It’s a really exciting opportunity to provide specialist facilities primarily in health, care and science areas to support young people living in Ipswich and beyond.

“We are currently in discussions with the Department for Education to work out a timeline for this project.

Suffolk New College principal, Viv Gillespie. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE (53151039)
Suffolk New College principal, Viv Gillespie. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE (53151039)

“But we feel very privileged to be the only college in the local region to benefit from this post-16 capacity fund.

“I’d like to thank the team at the college who were involved in putting the project together. The project will also be supported by college funding.

“This announcement will enable us to help positively re-shape the educational landscape in this region as we continue to offer an exceptional student experience to the lives of all those who choose to study with us.”

The new centre will be built on the current moped parking area on the corner of Rope Walk and Dove Street after Ipswich Borough Council granted planning permission in October.

The new build will feature a nursery, classrooms, staff room, IT facilities, three-bed hospital ward, occupational therapy space and laboratories to provide students with realistic scenarios that will replicate their future workplaces.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt, a member of the education select committee in Westminster, said he had pressed for the college to get backing, with the college a key driver in providing skills for young people.

Ipswich MP Tom Hunt. (53150975)
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt. (53150975)

He said: “Education is a key part of levelling up. Providing high-quality education for sixth form and college students is essential if we want to see local people take higher paying jobs.

“With a new freeport coming to Felixstowe, and even more job opportunities associated with Sizewell C, it’s important that we offer the courses and training for local students to take advantage of the jobs on offer.”

The scheme is the latest boost for the college facilities, following the completion of the £2.4m Tech Campus which is now open but having an official ribbon cutting early in 2022.

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