Olham College

OLDHAM College is to get a new £9 million science, engineering and digital technology building.

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has announced that it will pay £2.9 million towards the project — the second part of a potential eight-phase overhaul of the Rochdale Road campus. The money will be topped up with £6.1 million from the college.

The news means that work can begin on the building, which is being called an innovation hub, next summer. A £70 million overhaul of Oldham College fell though in 2009 when the national college building project collapsed.

But last month (October) bosses unveiled a masterplan for a possible eight-phase redevelopment.

Work is already due to start in January on a £7 million learning hub for 14 to 19-years-old at the corner of Rochdale Road and Oldham Road.

This building will include a new main entrance, classrooms and student services. It being being funded with £2 million from the SFA and £5 million from the college.

The aim is to attract more funding for the future phases and also use savings from the lower running costs of modern buildings.

The overall redevelopment could include a sports zone, demolishing the old Bronte and Bevan buildings, reducing the tower block to two storeys and a new creative services centre.

Oldham College principal Alun Francis said: “By securing this funding we are taking another major step towards the realisation of the vision we have for Oldham College and for the town.”

AEDAS are the architects, Virtual Planit visualised the scheme.