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Plans to demolish inadequate Nottinghamshire college classrooms

Major plans could be approved to demolish and rebuild ‘inadequate’ classrooms at a Nottinghamshire college’s town campus.

Vision West Nottinghamshire College has asked Mansfield District Council for permission to make changes to its campus in Chesterfield Road South.

It wants to demolish the derelict School of Art site alongside the building’s link to the historic Ashfield House.

The rear extension to Ashfield House would also be knocked down but the main building itself – a heritage asset – would be retained.

The college left the facilities in 2014 after relocating art and design services to its main Derby Road campus in a £2.3m project.

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It came as part of a transformation of the Derby Road site which included a state-of-the-art arts centre, ending more than 80 years of art, design and craft at the Chesterfield Road campus.

Now the college could be on the brink of securing permission to redevelop the buildings and offer new education space for its learners.

The authority’s planning committee will meet on July 31 and a redevelopment of part of the campus could be given permission.

Planning papers reveal a new education space, made up of 1,343 square metres over two floors, would be built in their place.

The amended plans would bring a T-levels centre – focusing on vocational courses and helping people into skilled work – on the lower ground floor of a rebuilt building.

A library, toilets, a ‘circulation space’, a plant room, 10 classrooms and other additional teaching rooms are also promised.

In papers, Mansfield District Council confirms access from Chesterfield Road would be unaltered.

However, the demolition of on-site buildings would allow the existing car park to be redesigned.

In total, 36 car parking spaces would be provided, including two for people with disabilities.

Four additional electric vehicle charging bays are also proposed alongside cycle storage.

The college also pledged to find a “beneficial use” for Ashfield House as part of the plans, including making it the “front-facing focus” of the rebuilt facilities.

The college added: “This [new] education facility will represent a multi-million-pound investment in the Mansfield community.

“In addition to the construction jobs that will be created, there will be contracts for local contractors both during the construction process and throughout the lifetime of the building.

“This together with the attraction of additional students into the town will have a major beneficial impact on the local economy.

“The existing School of Arts Building is no longer fit for purpose to deliver a high-quality education experience.

“The classrooms provide an inadequate environment for modern education delivery that meets modern standards and the aspirations of both students and local businesses.”

The project is part of a larger project at the campus aimed at addressing low skill levels across Mansfield.

It will offer space for level three science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects to be taught.

“[This will lead] to an increase in the local labour market of individuals with level three and above qualifications,” the college added.

“It will provide a tech centre where the college, Nottingham Trent University and businesses can work together on projects to support the increased use of technology.

“Students [can] gain valuable experience to support their progression to higher education or work, and businesses can gain access to support and a future workforce.”

Overall, £8.861m is expected to be spent on the campus, with £4.3m allocated from Mansfield Council’s £12.3m Towns Fund pot.

The college says the wider project will lead to more students, extra courses and increased jobs and skills for local employers.

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