New university centre for Weston after college's successful Government bid

PUBLISHED: 08:00 10 May 2014

Weston College graduates celebrate in St John's Church.

Weston College graduates celebrate in St John's Church.

Archant

MORE degrees will be on offer at Weston College after leaders announced it had officially become a further and higher education establishment, following a successful bid to the Government.

The change will lead to a university centre being based in the town, and although the college already offers degrees, the new status means it will expand its provision – leading to more jobs for Weston.

College principal, Dr Paul Phillips, said the new status ties in with the development of its South West Skills and University Campus in Locking Road, the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College at the Junction 21 centre and improvements at its Knightstone Campus.

He said: “The time was right to go for this bid, particularly when Weston will be seeing major regeneration in the very near future in the form of Junction 21 and the Dolphin Square development.

“I am jointly working through the Local Enterprise Partnership and North Somerset Council so the idea of regeneration in Weston leans towards a town centre urbanisation project with higher 
education a major feature of this.”

The college’s higher education provision has grown rapidly, with around 800 students now on HE courses with partners Bath Spa University and the University of the West of England.

It is hoped a new centre may easily double this number in the next few years.

Mike Jackson, chief executive of the council, said: “Weston College already plays an extremely important role in Weston’s economy. As we look to the future, higher education should play a significant role in delivering development and investment in the town, which is a priority for the council.”

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