£9m Newton Abbot university college bid takes major step forward
PLANS for a £9.7million pioneering technical college in Newton Abbot have taken a major step forward.
The South Devon College-led University Technical College proposal has won through to the crucial next round of the funding bid process.
The cash support bid for the South Devon University Technical College in engineering, water and the environment was submitted to the Department for Education in November.
The project is being driven by the college in partnership with the University of Exeter, Teignbridge Council, South West Water, Centrax, the Federation of Small Businesses, Devon County Council, South Hams Council and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.
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A delegation from the partnership will now travel to London on January 31 for a formal interview in its quest for funding.
A panel of top Department for Education officials will question the team on all aspects of the bid.
Adele Dawson, South Devon College head of Business Advantage, Construction and Hospitality and Project Champion for the South Devon UTC, said: "It is very exciting that our bid has progressed to the next stage of a formal interview.
"We are only allowed to send six representatives to London. It is a testimony to the strength of support from the partnership that we wanted to send 12.
"We have a very strong team and we will all do our best at the interview to make sure the proposed school gets the green light to proceed."
The partnership will know if their bid has been successful by Easter.
It is proposed that the university would be built at a site on Exeter Road and will take up to 600 students aged between 14 and 18.
If the bid is successful it will open in September, 2015.
The news comes as South Devon College prepares to officially open its new Newton Abbot campus later this month.
Principal Stephen Criddle will be joined by Newton Abbot MP Anne Marie Morris to open the apprenticeship, careers, training centre and Hair and Beauty Skills Academy at Pearl Assurance House on January 25.
The centre will be a one-stop shop for free advice and guidance about careers and apprenticeships.
On the same day Greg Fitzgerald, boss of Kingskerswell bypass contractors Galliford Try and a former college student, will open the Construction Skills Centre and Automotive and Motorcycle Centre in Bradley Lane.
The centre boasts two modern, well equipped light vehicle and motorcycle workshops, a car diagnostic laboratory and purpose-built interactive classrooms.
It also houses a construction skills centre with purpose-built workshops for plastering, painting and decorating, carpentry and brickwork.