This second successful bid brings new investment in the College to £9m, following the recent award for the development of the new STEM centre (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The College, in conjunction with the Isle of Wight Council, has received confirmation that funding of £2.4m has now been approved by the EFA (Educational Funding Agency) to develop a new state-of-the-art facility for students with learning difficulties or disabilities. Given forecasted increased numbers, this new, very specialist facility will allow students to remain living on the Island rather than having to go off-island to access the quality of facilities needed to support their learning. Subject to planning approval, work on the project will commence immediately.

The new facility is being designed to provide the highest quality learning environment, including a hydrotherapy pool, accessible kitchens, classrooms specially designed for delivery of independent living, performance spaces and a ‘movement’ studio. Support facilities such as changing rooms, toilets and eating locations will also be designed with the specific needs of these learners and their carers in mind.

The development of such a focused and specialist facility will benefit the whole Island with students being able to readily access the highest quality learning environment, reducing travel times and aiding their learning.

Richard Priest, Cabinet member for Children Services at the Isle of Wight Council, said “I welcome the news and the investment in this facility, reflecting the position and reputation the college has. The new resource will provide state-of-the-art facilities for students now, and in the future”.

John Coughlan, Director of Children’s Services for the Isle of Wight commented: “This is good news for young people who need additional support as they move into further education and vocational training at the College, on their journey into the world of work. We have been very pleased to work in partnership with the College to secure this investment. The additional facility will contribute significantly to raising the standard of education and training on the Island and to improving outcomes overall for young people on the Isle of Wight.”

This specialist facility will provide significant support for students on the Island and I am delighted that we have secured this investment from the EFA.

Debbie Lavin, Principal of the College

This is the second major investment for the College in as many weeks following the recent award of £6.5m from the Skills Funding Agency for a new building to provide state-of-the-art facilities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Both facilities are being designed and developed by Pick Everard, who were responsible for the design and development of the outstanding and successful sixth form (F6RM) which opened in 2010 on time, in budget and has proved a resounding success with learners. If everything goes according to plan both new buildings will be completed by September 2015.


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