New college a step nearer

NEGOTIATIONS have started to build a new sixth form college on the southern edge of Ipswich, the Evening Star can reveal today.Property managers from both Ipswich council and Suffolk County Council have opened talks about selling a seven-acre area of land off Scrivener Drive for a new 2,000-student unit.

NEGOTIATIONS have started to build a new sixth form college on the southern edge of Ipswich, the Evening Star can reveal today.

Property managers from both Ipswich council and Suffolk County Council have opened talks about selling a seven-acre area of land off Scrivener Drive for a new 2,000-student unit.

It would provide sixth-form education for students from across south and west Ipswich, and from towns and villages wider afield, from Shotley to Hadleigh and Claydon.

The Star revealed the proposals for the new centre in May - it would be aimed at replacing existing sixth-form provisions at Westbourne, Chantry, Thurleston and Claydon high schools and would also offer courses for students from Stoke, Holbrook, East Bergholt, and Hadleigh high schools.


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The Learning and Skills Council is currently running a competition to establish what A-level provision is needed in the area.

The high schools have grouped together to form a consortium to promote the new sixth-form centre - and this consortium has approached the borough about the Scrivener Drive land.

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The land is owned by the borough, although it is actually over the boundary in Babergh district.

It is allocated for business development in the local plan for the area, but preliminary discussions with Babergh and the county suggest there would be no major objections to a sixth-form college being established on the site.

An update on the negotiations will be given to Ipswich council's executive at its meeting next Tuesday.

The executive is being asked to approve the proposals in principle and to allow negotiations about the Scrivener Road land to continue.

Public consultation on the proposals is due to continue until next month and the Learning and Skills Council is due to announce the result of the competition by the end of the year.

Providing negotiations between the three authorities are successfully concluded, the work on the new centre could start late next year and it could be ready to accept its first students in September 2009.

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