£10m plan to build college in Scunthorpe's Church Square
Plans are in place to build a £10 million college in the heart of Scunthorpe town centre, the Scunthorpe Telegraph can reveal.
North Lincolnshire Council is preparing to submit a formal bid to the Government's Department for Education for a university technical college in Church Square.
It is set to create at least 50 jobs when open, as well as a significant number of positions in the construction phase.
If given the go-ahead, the facility will be created and operated in partnership with the University of Hull and a range of industry partners.
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The college would have around 600 students aged 14 to 19 and have a focus on engineering and renewable energy.
It would be funded entirely using central Government cash and council officials also hope it will provide a major boost to the town centre.
Councillor Liz Redfern, the leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "The main thing is to raise aspirations for our young people.
"It also gives the opportunity to link with the university and provide a working business day, which would cover places other than North Lincolnshire."
After opening, the college would be funded in the same way as academy schools, with money coming directly from the Government.
The first intake at the Scunthorpe campus is planned for September 2014, with around 60 per cent of students to be enrolled from within North Lincolnshire.
The remainder would be bussed into Scunthorpe from places such as Hull, Lincolnshire, North East Lincolnshire and Doncaster to reduce the impact on numbers at local schools.
Mrs Redfern said: "I think it will give young people a really good choice and will help stimulate the town centre."
The college is designed to help equip youngsters with the skills needed to move into highly-paid jobs in industry.
Students will have an 8.30am to 5.30pm working day, They will study core subjects such as English and maths but will spend 40 per cent of their time on practical skills.
Mrs Redfern said: "We need to have a skilled workforce.
"They are highly-waged and we want high wages for people locally."
And she said she hoped the college would also lead to additional investment in the region.
She said: "If we can prove we have got a local workforce that is trained to a high level, when we are looking for big inward investment, it sends a positive message."
The Scunthorpe college, if approved, would join 33 other such colleges already open or close to completion across the country.
Many more are currently in the planning stages.
Professor Calie Pistorius, vice chancellor at the University of Hull, said: "Through its co-sponsorship of this proposal, the university is able to lend its academic expertise, in collaboration with established and emerging industrial links, to support the engineering and renewable focus of this project."
• In this week's Scunthorpe Telegraph: Two pages of analysis, including how a new college would regenerate town centre.