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Vision unveiled for second tech-focused teaching hub at college

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:23 18 February 2019

Suffolk New College is part of five host sites bidding to form the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIoT) Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk New College is part of five host sites bidding to form the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIoT) Picture: ARCHANT

Fresh proposals are being unveiled for the expansion of an Ipswich college - just weeks after planners gave a state-of-the-art technology hub the green light.

Craig Shimmon, marketing manager at Suffolk New College Picture: CLAIRE CALVERCraig Shimmon, marketing manager at Suffolk New College Picture: CLAIRE CALVER

Suffolk New College bosses have submitted a second planning application, spelling out their vision for a new student block at its Rope Walk campus.

If approved, the four-storey building would provide additional teaching space for subjects such as IT, media, gaming, design and electronics. Around 12 new jobs would be created as a result.

It is earmarked for a building opposite the new technology hub, which was given the go ahead in early February.

If funding for the overall project is secured, the two sites are tipped to form part of a multi-million pound tie up of colleges across the region – operating under the banner of the ‘Eastern Institute of Technology’ (EIoT), and aimed at widening curriculums to include more STEM subjects.

If the second planning application at the Rope Walk site is approved, Suffolk New College bosses will need to wait to hear back about funding opportunities for the EIoT Picture: ARCHANTIf the second planning application at the Rope Walk site is approved, Suffolk New College bosses will need to wait to hear back about funding opportunities for the EIoT Picture: ARCHANT

“We are very excited at the prospect of extending our curriculum offer to people of all ages in this region, in a number of technology-based subjects,” said the college’s Craig Shimmon.

“There are still a number of processes to go through before this project becomes a reality, and we are looking forward to finding out about the next stage of funding process.

“If all goes to plan though, (this project) will be a great addition to our expanding facilities and it will be based in an area that is benefitting from ongoing regeneration – right in the heart of Ipswich’s expanding education hub.”

The principal aim of the EIoT is to create a hub for teaching STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) – delivering courses not currently taught at the host sites.

It comes amid growing demand from businesses for more highly skilled people in these subjects.

The scheme was one of just 16 projects nationally to progress to the second stage of bidding last summer – out of more than 100 that applied.

Education bosses want the EIoT to operate from hubs at the four host college sites – West Suffolk College, Easton and Otley College, the College of West Anglia and Suffolk New College.

Motorcycle parking is also set to be relocated under this new application at Suffolk New College – it follows complaints from drivers about motorcycle riders using pedestrianised areas.

The bid will be debated by council planners in due course.

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