Work has started on the development of a new Further Education College and Public Sector Hub on Horncastle’s Mareham Road.
The development will see a new education facility, operated by Boston College, built alongside a Public Sector Hub that will be home to East Lindsey District Council and partner organisations.
Having gained planning permission last year, works are now underway following confirmation that Boston College have successfully secured £1,231,490 for the college campus aspect of project from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership as part of the Government’s Getting Building Fund.
The College campus, which will comprise four classrooms and a digital innovation computer-based classroom, will create new learning opportunities in digital skills for individuals aged 16 and over.
Access to further and higher education within East Lindsey is currently limited and, by introducing a more accessible provision, local businesses will be able to readily access training to meet their skills needs, helping them to grow, increase productivity, and add value to the local economy.
Claire Foster, Principal and CEO of Boston College, said: “Boston College is delighted to be part of this exciting new investment in Horncastle. Our college’s purpose is to support the development of skills and the opportunities that education and training bring for people and prosperity. We look forward to working with our local communities to do just that – within a high-quality facility and in this beautiful town.”
Alongside the College, the development will include office accommodation for East Lindsey District Council and their partners. The District Council have already allocated £6.23m to the development, which will transform the way it does business and result in the sale of both Tedder Hall, Manby, and Skegness Town Hall for redevelopment.
Both buildings are expensive to operate, require significant investment and are too big for the Council’s requirements. With the sale of both sites, and the more efficient operation of the new building, the development will be cost neutral over 15 years.
The District Council have appointed Willmott Dixon to oversee the construction of the Hub. It is anticipated that the District Council and their partners will take up occupancy of the building in September 2022.
Councillor Craig Leyland, East Lindsey District Council Leader, said: “I’m incredibly pleased that works are starting on this landmark project. The new college campus and hub will provide a huge boost to our communities, starting with the development itself and the commitment we’ve seen from Willmott Dixon to invest back into the area.
“We’re also going to be bringing a much-needed education facility to East Lindsey by partnering with Boston College, which will provide our residents with access to quality further and higher education in the district. It’ll also prove beneficial to our businesses who will have greater access to individuals with the skills they need to help them grow.
“Our new shared office space will allow us to support our communities through improved service delivery, as we look to work in a more modern and collaborative manner. We’re also really happy to be at the heart of one our towns, and we’re keen to link with local businesses to ensure that our move can provide a lift to the town’s high street.”
Victoria Atkins, Member of Parliament for Louth & Horncastle, said: “I am delighted that work has begun on a new Further Education College and Public Sector Hub in Horncastle. This exciting development will enhance the further education offer in our market town, providing a range of skills and training opportunities for Horncastle and the surrounding villages.
“The investment in jobs, education and infrastructure through the new college and hub will help boost our local economy, ensuring that Horncastle continues to thrive in the long term and enabling accessible provision for all residents locally.”
Simon Telfer, HR and Logistics Director, Branston Ltd and Chair of the LEP’s Employment and Skills Advisory Panel, added: “The Greater Lincolnshire LEP is delighted to be supporting this new education suite being operated by Boston College which will link training provision to the requirements of local employers and adults in Horncastle and the surrounding area.
“The £1.2m Getting Building Fund Skills Capital Programme investment in bespoke facilities and curriculum provision on site will be targeted towards courses that meet the skills gaps in the Greater Lincolnshire Economic Plan – for example, digital skills, business skills, support to adult learners (post-19 year olds) and specialist apprenticeships – meeting the needs and demands of key sectors.”
Councillor Fiona Martin, Horncastle Town Mayor, said: “I am very pleased to see the start of this development which will bring much needed college facilities to Horncastle as well as moving East Lindsey’s headquarters into our market town.
“This will make both Boston College and East Lindsey services more accessible to local people and more central to our district as well as making use of a currently underused site. I am looking forward to the opening of the new facilities in September 2022.”