College wants £23m store site

editorial image

Yorkshire Coast College is eyeing up a £23 million new campus in the town centre, The Scarborough News can reveal.

The college’s bosses in Grimsby plan to sell its existing Lady Edith’s Drive and Westwood campuses to fund the construction of the “employment focused” facility.

Ours is an ambitious vision and we are aware that we can’t do it alone

Clare Wareing, principal

The Grimsby Insititue would only confirm it was looking at a site in the town centre but The Scarborough News understands that it has identified the site that had been earmarked for a new Tesco superstore near the Dean Road depot and old hospital land next to it as its preferred location. The land’s future has been in limbo since Tesco decided against building there in 2013.

Yorkshire Coast College’s plans come on the same day Scarborough Council will decide whether to give planning permission to the Coventry University Scarborough Campus and the Scarborough University Technical College bids on the Weaponness coach park. YCC’s principal, Clare Wareing, said it would work alongside the new education providers, not against.

She added: “We have applied for funding to the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to build a new, town centre campus, so that we can transform our learning programmes and further improve student experience.

“We want to make our curriculum responsive to the needs of local learners, employers and the wider economy, and inspire our colleagues to provide ever better education, training and support.

“Our aim is to put a relentless focus on quality so that we deliver an excellent outcome for every learner, be that further study, an apprenticeship, job, promotion or place at university. Providing our learners with the skills and experience that local employers actually need, both now and in the future, will be the key to our success.”

The funding for the £23 million campuses will come in part from the LEP but the rest would have to come from the sale for development of the Lady Edith’s Drive land and the historic Westwood building, which was where the Stephen Joseph Theatre was founded 60 years ago.

No timeframe has been put on when the new campus could be built.

Plans for the new Dean Road college include dedicated facilities for the teaching of: construction, engineering, catering and hospitality, arts and media, business, enterprise and ICT, leisure and tourism, health and social care, public services, sport, child care, accounting, teacher training, foundation learning, and hair and beauty.

Ms Wareing added: “There will also be a firm emphasis on the development of flexible, higher level skills, which have been identified as a key requirement for the wider economy going forwards.”

Details on the plans will be sent to “key stakeholder” in September and an event will also be held for people to find out more details of the changes.

“Ours is an ambitious vision and we are aware that we can’t do it alone,” Ms Wareing said.

“That’s why we are working hard to explain our thinking to key partners and stakeholders, to seek their feedback and incorporate their good ideas into our detailed plans. We are pleased to say that our feeder schools support our vision, and we are working alongside colleagues at the UTC, Coventry University and Teesside University to streamline provision, and create coherent progression opportunities between our institutions.

“Looking ahead, our intention is to recruit a new, independent board of governors, drawn from a wide cross section of the local community. As a minimum, it will include representatives from the region’s business, secondary education and community sectors, as well as the Scarborough Borough Council.

“Board members will use their professional expertise and understanding of local issues to ensure that our new employment-focused college effectively supports the social and economic regeneration of Scarborough and the wider region.”