Oaklands College goes ahead despite LSC 'debacle'
A St. Albans school hit by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) funding ‘debacle’ says it will push ahead on its own and raise funds for a £100 million new build by Bond Bryan
‘We are addressing the funding issue from a position of strength as the college is financially sound,’ said Mark Dawe, Principal of Oaklands College. ‘We’re now in talks with potential funders, banks and developers to explore the potential for funding the construction ourselves’.
‘We have been through a lot and are trying to take a positive approach, despite the LSC funding debacle,’ said Dawe. ‘The Bond Bryan design matches our aspirations for a college that will inspire and motivate. It is vital to the community that we press ahead’.
The scheme, which is in the green belt, was called in by the Secretary of State and approved at Public Inquiry, but was then denied funding by the LSC.
The LSC announced in June that emergency funding worth £300 million would be made available to 13 projects, but this still left Oaklands College and a further 170 schemes high and dry.
‘The central hub will be a three-storey high drum, whilst the wings, which radiate from this will each be two storeys,’ said Tim Justice, Bond Bryan Associate. ‘As the development is sited sensitively on the edge of the green belt, we have had to ensure the design sits low, in line with existing buildings nearby, so to achieve planning permission’.
‘The new college building will be integrated into an existing agrarian landscape through extensive woodland planting, land forming and considered material selection,’ added Ricardo Ares, director at Whitelaw Turkington.