Westwood is ‘not up for sale’ say college

133704 'Scenesetter of Yorkshire Coast College Westwood campus'Picture by Neil Silk'09/09/13
133704 'Scenesetter of Yorkshire Coast College Westwood campus'Picture by Neil Silk'09/09/13

Yorkshire Coast College has denied it has put its Westwood Campus up for sale but admitted that all options are being looked at.

Rumours had spread that the campus had been put up for sale and that the students would be moving elsewhere.

Though it has not been put up for sale the college is looking at a possible relocation for its Creative Arts courses, which have more than 300 students.

Clare Wareing, principal of Yorkshire Coast College, told The Scarborough News: “Yorkshire Coast College’s Westwood Campus has not been sold and isn’t currently on the market.

“We see our Creative Arts courses as an outstanding and exciting part of our educational offer and we naturally wish to invest in their future.

“We are in the process of considering the relocation of our provision to further expand the facilities available to our learners and enhance their overall learning experience.”

A spokesman for YCC added that no further information could be supplied on any time frame for a potential decision about any move, or what other sites were being considered.

The building which houses the campus was opened in 1900 and was called the Municipal School, or ‘The Muni’ by the locals, and in its early days was at the centre of a row over who would run education in the town which dragged on for three years.

It became the Boys’ Grammar School before it was converted to become the old Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1976.

The three-vomitorium theatre design and shape was created for the move to Westwood, and was then reproduced exactly at the new Stephen Joseph Theatre venue in the town centre.

Even now the Westwood building still boasts a fully operating theatre, as well as the eating area called The Square Cat – named after Alan Ayckbourn’s first play. The world premier of The Woman in Black was held at the theatre before transferring to a successful run in the West End.

Since becoming home to the college’s School of Creative Arts students the building has undergone a large redevelopment and now is home to a purpose built dance studio, a recording studio and various dressing rooms and performance spaces.

Any future use of the building, or proposed changes to it by any new owner, would be complicated by the building’s Listed status and the fact that it lies within the Scarborough Conservation Area.