Innovative plans to modernise a college campus in the heart of Wrexham town centre have been submitted.
If approved the ambitious plans, which have been put forward by Coleg Cambria, will see the Yale Campus on Grove Park Road undergo a £20 million redevelopment.
On Sunday (August 5th) Coleg Cambria celebrated its fifth birthday – with the Wrexham plans forming part of the institution’s vision for further education across north east Wales.
Once complete the state-of-the-art development will offer “enhanced teaching and training facilities, larger examination, sports and dining facilities.”
The plans also include a new three-storey complex equipped with the latest digital technology, a 200-seat conference hall, meeting and staff rooms, a cutting edge study space, revolutionary sports facilities and IT suites.
Proposals for the Wrexham campus were unveiled earlier this year, with the revamp coming after Coleg Cambria announced £40m of modern new buildings in less than 18 months – including a £10m engineering technology complex and campus redevelopment on Bersham Road in Wrexham, and a £3.5m Business School in Northop.
Speaking in January Chief Executive David Jones said that if approved the plans “will be a shot in the arm for Wrexham and for the economy, as thousands of students and their families will benefit.”
The economic benefits the redevelopment will bring are mentioned in the application’s design and access statement, which says both long and short term benefits will be brought to the area.
The documents state: “The provision of improved educational facilities will support residents, encourage people to move into or commute to the area which in turn will support local businesses and thus the local economy.
“In the short term, the proposals will provide improved facilities for Coleg Cambria. This will enable a standard of education to be achieved, increasing student access to education and ultimately employment.
“In the long term, the proposals to improv teaching facilities will provide economic benefit to the local area via the increase in employment opportunities. The college works in partnership with over 1,000 employers across the region to deliver the skills required for employment.
“The proposals will also provide employment for those contracted to carry out the construction works.”
As part of the proposals there will be a focus on the provision of facilities for hospitality and catering, sport, creative industries and media studies – with the existing historic accommodation described as being “inadequate for the current teaching requirements of these courses”.
As a result the plans will “replace the inefficient accommodation, providing much needed space for examinations that through flexible design can also be used throughout the academic year”.
One of the key changes proposed is the demolition of the existing examination hall, administration areas, training kitchen facilities, theatre, and sports hall which face onto Chester Road.
The new building, which will be visible from the road, is described as presenting the opportunity “for the college to create a new impressive face to the campus”.
It is thought that works will begin in 2019 and open in time for the start of the 2020/21 calendar year subject to planning permission being granted.
The application will be considered for approval at a later date.