New £60m campus for South Nottingham College
A NEW £60 million college campus could be built in the city centre.
South Nottingham College is considering possible locations for its "super hub".
One of the options is to rebuild its Maid Marian Way campus, while up to three other sites, believed to be on the south side of the city, are being looked at.
The college says it cannot reveal where the other sites are, but hopes a decision will be made by Christmas, so work could begin to have the complex ready for students by 2015.
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The city council hopes the college will choose an option other than Maid Marian Way, as it wants to knock down the buildings there to create a tourist attraction or retail centre to improve the area surrounding Nottingham Castle.
The announcement comes as the college changes its name to Central College Nottingham. It is also looking to link up with more businesses and possibly sponsor more academies.
Principal Malcolm Cowgill said: "It is early days right now but this would be a major development and a real boost for our students.
"We are looking at sites including Maid Marian Way. We hope a decision will not be too far away."
It is likely the development would be paid for by the college, which has nearly 5,000 full-time students.
City council deputy leader Graham Chapman has welcomed the news of the planned investment, saying: "It would be great for the city and the students at the college."
He added: "We'll be having talks with them. We'd like to redevelop Maid Marian Way ourselves."
The college has worked out the £60 million cost based on the size of the development it needs.
The Post understands it would fund the work from its own coffers.
Mr Chapman said: "We'd like them to build the site away from Maid Marian Way, so we can redevelop that site to improve access to the castle.
"The building of that college site, in the 1960s, was a mistake in the first place. We have hopes of making it much better and the college building somewhere in the south side of the city."
The college currently has 14 sites, which Mr Cowgill admits is too many.
There are campuses in the city centre, Clifton, New Basford, West Bridgford and Ruddington. The college spent £4 million over the summer giving these a facelift.
It is unclear what their future would be if the hub is built.
Mr Cowgill added: "We are looking at a hub-and-spokes approach.
"We have the spokes, such as our academies. We now want to identify a site for a super hub."
Bosses insist there will be no staff redundancies, while there could be scope to increase the number of full-time students.
The name change was this week ratified by Minister for Skills Matthew Hancock.
Mr Cowgill added: "It is a significant day in the college's history. South Nottingham College has achieved so much success over the last 42 years.
"Moving away from 'South' fits our geographic position and has much more relevance to the communities we serve.
"Students are central to what we do. We already have links to businesses and we are looking for more."
Second-year art and design student Megan Roper, 18, of West Bridgford, said: "The sites we have are great but having one big base in the city centre would be brilliant."
The college has links with car manufacturer Kia as well as media group Confetti. Other deals are on the way, offering students experience as well as qualifications.
Meanwhile, the college is looking to sponsor more academies in Notts. It already sponsors Top Valley Academy and South Nottinghamshire Academy in Radcliffe-on-Trent.
The college merged with Castle College last year, after which it made a commitment to review the name.
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