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£1.5bn college investment fund to help boost Cornish town

An artist impression of what Cornwall College St Austell could look like

Published: 8th April 2021

Cornwall College St Austell has today been named as one of just 16 colleges in England to receive a share of £1.5 billion in the next phase of the government’s further education capital transformation fund.

The fund was first launched in September 2020 by the Prime Minister to rebuild and transform college estates and create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces that meet the needs of students and the communities they serve.

Chief executive and principal of The Cornwall College Group, John Evans, said the announcement was a “momentous” occasion for St Austell and the college group, and paves the way for ambitious plans he has for the campus.

“We want to create a real centre of educational excellence at our St Austell site,” he said.

“We have been heavily investing in our student experiences and teaching, and a recent Ofsted visit recognised the quality of our recent work in this area.

“However, one thing I have been determined to achieve since taking on this role in 2019 is the upgrading of our facilities – and the campus at John Keay House has been a top priority of mine.

“We hope that being earmarked in this latest round of capital transformation funding is an important next step to achieving this.”

Kym O’Mara, the newly appointed head of campus for Cornwall College St Austell commented: “This is an incredibly exciting time for the college and our future students.

“This also signifies a huge leap forward for our college, which is currently going through a significant programme of change.

“Ever since our new leadership team was appointed in 2019, we have seen continual improvement and investment, and today’s news will mean that we only add to this.

“Of course, as a community college, it is not just our young people that this investment will benefit. We have an enormous range on offer for adults too, both in professional qualifications, including apprenticeships and leisure courses and many of our local businesses and organisations are able to take advantage of our onsite facilities as well.”

MP for St Austell, Steve Double, added: “This announcement is really excellent news for St Austell.

“John and I have the same ambitions for the town and surrounding areas and have been united in our desire to see a new campus building to replace the John Keay House site for a number of years.

“I am hopeful that with this funding boost, the exceptional range of courses and apprenticeships available, and the other investments being made, even more school-leavers will decide to stay in St Austell to continue their studies and that quality further education provision will be secured for future generations of young people in the town.”

Listen to Principal and CE of TCCG John Evans speak about the announcement to BBC Radio Cornwall below:

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